Facebook overhauls search as it crosses 400 million users

On its sixth birthday, Facebook launched a host of new features as it crossed the 400-million user mark.

The most interesting of them may be its revamped search. When you type in names, it auto-completes for people who are the closest to you by social proximity — e.g. the people you share the most mutual friends with. Not only that, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that search indexes content like Pages and Applications two degrees out in your social graph. That means your friends (one degree) or your friends’ friends (two degrees).

You’ll also have the option of seeing more content like status updates and posts through search, as long as it’s supposed to be visible to you through privacy settings. With the new privacy settings and more public content, search should figure increasingly prominently in the user experience, as it will be able to surface more and more content over time.

There is also a new photo-uploader accessible from the front page that makes it faster and easier to post new photos to the site. There’s also a games and applications dashboard, which replaces older game notifications. We’ve covered it more in-depth here.


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