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Facebook to roll out advanced search options

On July 8, Facebook began to roll out a new advanced search feature to its users in the U.S.

Graph Search, which was first announced earlier in the year, gives users the ability to perform more detailed search queries, such as “images of friends before 1999” or “cafes my friends have liked in London”.

Given the site’s sizeable user-base, it is expected to be a week or two before everybody in the U.S. will start to benefit from the tool, but many will be able to use it this week. The feature has been in the testing phase for around six months.

In a blog post on Monday, Facebook said of the introduction:

“Over the past few months, tens of millions of people have helped improve the product just by using it and giving feedback.”

The update is expected to increase the promptness of searches, as well as the accuracy of results, making it much easier for users to find the content they’re looking for. When the user begins to type a query, they will receive suggestions on searches with more relevance. Facebook also said that it will have a better understanding of what it is that people are looking for, meaning it can offer better results.

While its latest move is focused on search capabilities, Facebook has claimed that it is not looking to challenge Google. Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s COO, explained at a conference earlier this year that the update will focus solely on Facebook. She said:

“Graph Search isn’t web search. We aren’t duplicating what Bing does and what Google does, but rather we are making things easier for people to find on Facebook.”

It will be interesting to see how Graph Search will affect how businesses and individual users tag the content they publish online. There is no word yet on when the feature will be arriving on the screens of UK users but a mobile version is currently in the pipeline.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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