(Updated to reflect confirmation from Facebook)
For years it was rumored and speculated that Facebook would be developing its own search engine, and the anticipation seemed to be getting pretty big. That is, until the product finally came true in January, with the release of Graph Search. Then, as it slowly rolled out to users in beta mode, most people seemed unimpressed, and the world seemed to kind of forget about it. Or at least they didn't seem to talk about it much.
Well, that should be changing very soon, as Facebook is set to release the new and improved Graph Search to all of its users in the United States, according to a report from ABC News on Sunday.
This does not mean that everyone living in the U.S. will automatically have the service when they open Facebook on Monday; it is going to take a number of weeks for it to actually be available to everyone. But millions more will have it before the week is out, sources said.
When it was first launched it was only available in English, and only a small amount of Facebook content was available to be searched for. Facebook now says that it has improved both the speed, and the accuracy, of Graph Search, which has led them to believe it now ready for full-scale launch.
"Over the past few months, tens of millions of people have helped improve the product just by using it and giving feedback," Facebook will reportedly write in blog post to be published on Monday.
The search engine will also now suggest relevant searches, as well as "better understand what people are searching for" and it will then display the most relevant results first.
Graph Search has now been in beta mode for six months. The essential difference between the Web search and Graph Search is that Web search gathers information about things, while Graph Search gathers information about people. And while that may scare some users, Facebook says that it built its search engine with privacy in mind, and that information that was made private will not come up in Graph Search results.
Here how Facebook explained it at the time:
"Graph Search and web search are very different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “hip hop”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: "my friends in New York who like Jay-Z") to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that's been shared on Facebook. We believe they have very different uses."
Facebook has made the new official in a blog post on Monday.
"Earlier this year we announced the initial beta of Graph Search, a new way to find people, photos, places and interests on Facebook. In the next few weeks, Graph Search will roll out more broadly to everyone who uses Facebook in U.S. English," the compant wrote.
"This is just the beginning. We're currently working on making it easier for people to search and discover topics, including posts and comments. We’re also working on getting mobile Graph Search ready."
(Image source: http://blogs.imediaconnection.com)