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Facebook launching new search feature in the UK

Graeme Parton

Californian social giant Facebook announced this week that it has started rolling out its new Graph Search feature to users in the  UK.

The update, which was first seen by users in January, has been designed to make all of Facebook’s content easily accessible through its search bar. It allows users to find what they’re looking for by typing more organic queries, such as “images of my friends in Berlin” or “friends who like rap music”.

It has been made available to a select few who use the site with the language set to ‘UK English’, with Facebook seemingly set to expand the number of people who have access to it in the coming months.

Originally, the feature was limited in that it could only be used to find places, interests, people and photos. However, in September, Facebook started to let some American profile owners search for status update posts, image captions, comments and location check-ins. However, these additional capabilities are yet to be added to the UK version.

Facebook’s decision to delay the release of Graph Search on this side of the pond does raise some questions about the complex nature of localising the site’s search experience.

Experts have also been left wondering whether the site’s 1.19 billion users will change their searching habits to make the most of the new feature’s capabilities.

Facebook’s attempt to make its search experience more natural has come after Google attempted to do something similar with its Hummingbird update earlier this year. Visitors to the world’s most popular search engine can now find more accurate results by typing in a similar way to how they speak – asking questions, for example. The changes fit in well with the increasing use of speech recognition technology in smartphones and tablets.

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

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