Facebook today announced a major update to its search feature. The social network’s Graph Search, which lets you find people, places, and information based on human connections, is launching on mobile. Oh, and it can finally find Facebook posts, in addition to all of the above.
Graph Search first arrived in January 2013, and the company says users have been giving feedback on the beta ever since. The biggest request has been, unsurprisingly, being able to find posts you’ve seen before.
We’ve often been frustrated with seeing a post on our News Feed, and then being unable to find it a few hours later or even just moments after refreshing the page. “With a quick search, you can get back to a fun video from your graduation, a news article you’ve been meaning to read, or photos from your friend’s wedding last summer,” Facebook said.
Given that most of Facebook’s users are on mobile, it should be no surprise the other major request was better search on smartphones. Facebook said today’s updates were designed for mobile, and so they’re rolling out not just on the desktop, but in the iPhone app as well:
Facebook didn’t mention Android or Windows Phone in its announcement. The latter doesn’t surprise us, as Facebook doesn’t support Microsoft’s platform very well, but the former always gets a mention, even if iOS gets first dibs. We have reached out to Facebook about this and will update you when we hear back.
Update: “The updates are being rolled initially on desktop and iPhone,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat. “We’ll be listening to people’s feedback and making improvements from there. Then we’ll bring these updates to Android. People who use Facebook on Android will still be able to search for people, Pages, Groups, and apps. No specific timing to share on Android availability.”
Of course, complex Graph Search queries are still allowed. Phrases like “My friends who live in New York” still work, as do “My friends who like The White House.” Like with any Facebook launch, this one comes with a privacy reminder: “Your search results are personalized and unique to you and, as always, you can only see things that have been shared with you.”
In other words, this doesn’t change what you can see — it improves how easily you can find it.
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