Services & Software

Facebook cites bug in search history tool disappearance

A feature that allows users to view and edit their prior Facebook searches vanished, but has returned following a back-end bug fix.

Facebook's Graph Search, the future of Facebook searching.
Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Facebook acknowledged that a bug resulted in the sudden disappearance of its behind-the-scenes search history tool.

According to the IDG News Service, Facebook says a technical glitch led to the absence of the feature in the user settings area.

The social network said in an e-mail to CNET that the bug has been fixed; it did not elaborate on the nature of the initial problem. CNET verified that the functionality has been restored.

The feature first showed up last September, allowing users to go back into their search history and modify it or delete it entirely.

Facebook said in a blog post announcing the tool that only the user can see the search result data, in a bid to quell some privacy concerns.

Before it vanished, users could access their search history by visiting their profile, clicking the "Activity Log" button and selecting "Search" from the settings. It would allow users to jump back in to their recent searches -- from people and places to interests and pages -- and delete each search or wipe the lot with one click of a button.

Facebook announced its next-generation search product, Graph Search, in January. The social network billed the feature as the new way to find people, photos, places, and the like.

Graph Search initially launched to a small, select group of people. It will be rolled out more broadly throughout the year.

Update at 12:45 p.m. PT: Following a statement from Facebook saying that the bug has been fixed, we updated the story accordingly.