Tekla S. Perry of IEEE Spectrum recently wrote, “Earlier this month, Facebook gave hundreds of millions of its users a new tool—that adds the ability to search the links between the people they know and the places they go, the businesses they’re interested in, and other information stored in Facebook’s massive structured database. Users can now easily get answers to questions like ‘What restaurants do my friends like in New York?’ and ‘Who do I know who works at Google?’ Graph Search—a name only a network engineer could love—is a search engine that crawls through people’s Internet connections—their so-called social graphs. The new tool may not immediately change the way people use the Internet, but it could be a big deal in the long run—big enough, perhaps, to challenge Google’s search hegemony.”

Perry continues, “For its part, Facebook needs Graph Search to work, if Facebook is going to be more than just a tool for entertainment and communication, a place for family photos and funny videos. Greg Sterling, senior analyst and program director with Opus Research’s Internet2Go division, says that kind of tool can be expendable (remember AOL Hometown, GeoCities, and MySpace?). With Graph Search, Facebook is trying to become more utilitarian, more embedded in daily life. ‘If you’re getting useful information about contractors and vacation planning and other advice,’ Sterling says, ‘you start to rely on it in a way people rely on Google’.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Facebook