Facebook unveils new search tool (week in review)

Social network puts its faith in Graph Search, and the Internet mourns the passing of a Web activist. Also: Java flaw fixed -- or was it?

He who controls the graph, controls the world. James Martin/CNET

Facebook unveiled a new tool this week it touts as helping find people, photos, places, and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users.

Graph Search is the social network's newest way for users to make sense of its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Graph Search is launching to a small number of people and is available only on the desktop and in English for the time being.

People can use the structured search tool to resurface old memories, find people in their network, and uncover potential connections. The service incorporates various filters such as "place type," "liked by," and "visited by friends" to make locating things faster. You can refine search queries with more advance filters to get better answers.

Graph Search is so significant in scope and purpose that Zuckerberg anointed the product a "third pillar," which makes it as core to Facebook as Timeline and News Feed. The status also makes Facebook's decision to release an unfinished product quite curious. Lest Zuck forget, the company now has investor expectations to live up to.

The puzzling decision is actually an easily decipherable message that reads like this: Facebook intends to hold true to its risk-taking, ship-early-and-ship-often "Hacker Way" mentality.
•  Facebook might make money from its search tool, analysts say
•  How to sign up for Facebook's Graph Search beta
•  Why Facebook doesn't need its own phone

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<b>Nintendo's Wii gets Amazon Instant Video

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<b>A connection between video games and real-world violence?

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