Live Blog of the Event: What Does Facebook Have Up Its Sleeve?
Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) were up about 1.5 percent at noon on Tuesday ahead of its much-hyped event at 10:00 a.m. PST/1:00 p.m. EST. The world’s largest social network invited press and pundits to “come and see what we’re building” at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
At a glance: Facebook announces Graph Search, a social search service powered by Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing. Yelp (NYSE:YELP) is off over 6 percent. (Graph Search is, among other things, a recommendation tool.)
Investors seem to think: This is the kind of thing we were expecting you to do. Shares are off immediately following event, but it is a step in the right direction. Zuckerberg emphasizes the service is in beta. Clearly an attempt to take on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which is explicitly not a partner in the project.
Here’s what happened at the event.
(2:15 p.m.) Event is wrapped.
(2:10 p.m.) The scope of Facebook’s search looks predicated on users’ willingness to share. For good results, people will need to be very connected and very engaged.
(2:05 p.m.) Zuckerberg says discussions with Google fell apart because Google would not take down content after a user had posted it, but Microsoft would. Zuckerberg and the Facebook team are obviously trying very hard to maintain a positive image on privacy.
(2:04 p.m) No plans for voice search yet.
(1:58 p.m.) No timeline for mobile roll out yet.
(1:55 p.m.) Zuckerberg is asked about monetization, and responds saying that for now, the focus is on user experience. (Down the road, advertisement seems like the obvious direction.)
(1:50 p.m.) Zuckerberg says Graph Search will take years and years to develop and perfect. English only for now. Roll out will be limited and slow, in line with other service launches.
Facebook stock dips into the red.
(1:50 p.m.) Zuckerberg announces a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search service.
(1:47 p.m.) Zuckerberg is back on stage and calls Graph Search a beta product. Again, privacy concerns come up.
(1:45 p.m.) Privacy is obviously a huge issue here. Search results are handicapped by privacy restrictions. The more people you know, the more you are connected, the better your results. This service doesn’t necessary beg more users to sign up, but asks existing users to engage more.
Users will also have to be much more careful about their privacy settings. Malicious searches could turn up unwanted results, thinking back to the trouble employees or teachers have gotten into because of their Facebook pages.
(1:40 p.m.) Presenters demonstrate how specialized searches can yield very specialized results. For example “Indian restaurants in California liked by my friends from India”
Or, “Mexican Restaurants Liked by Culinary Arts Students”
(1:37 p.m.) Facebook posts Graph Search to their Newsroom. Basically a run down of what’s been covered so far at the presentation.
(1:35 p.m.) It’s showtime at the Apollo with search examples, and the breadth of Graph Search is pretty impressive. Again, users will only be able to see information that is already shared with them or is public.
Search examples include: “Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney”
(1:30 p.m.) Is new jobs search any threat to LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD)?
Ramussen demonstrates Graph Search for photos. Example queries such as “Photos of my friends in Paris” or “Photos of Me and my friends before 2000.”
(1:25 p.m.) Encouraged searches are phrases, such as “Friends who like tacos and hamburgers in California,” or “Single Friends in college.”
Suggests searches can be used as a recruiting tool (social jobs?) “Friends who work at Facebook,” or “Friends of friends who work at McDonald’s”
(1:20 p.m.) Graph search is “not keyword based.” Again, focuses on filters.
(1:20 p.m.) Search for restaurants will turn up results flagged by friends who have liked certain locations. Zuckerberg leaves the stage, introduces Tom Stocky (head of product management) and Lars Ramussen.
(1:17 p.m.) Zuckerberg is wearing a hoodie, by the way.
Zuckerberg offers examples of searches such as “Photos of me and Dan.” The results would turn up the best photos with you and Dan tagged.
(1:15 p.m.) Zuckerberg mentions that filters will be critical to providing good answers. Shows a video of how search works. “It’s early,” but he emphasizes that Graph Search will provide a way to answer questions (again, sounds like Google semantic search).
Graph Search results focused on: people, photos, places, and interests.
(1:12 p.m.) So what’s the difference between “web search” and “graph search.” How is this different from the Google algorithm?
Answer: Graph search is meant to be semantic and intuitive, providing answers to questions, not just links to answers.
(1:10 p.m.) Zuckerberg says Graph Search is aware of privacy, and is aware that most content is not public. Users will only be able to search through / see content that has been shared with them.
Graph Search is a way for users to navigate the connections between Facebook’s 1 billion users.
(1:08 p.m.) Zuckerberg introduces something called “Graph Search”
(1:05 p.m.) On stage, Zuckerberg emphasizes Facebook’s mission: to connect more users. Today’s announcement is a new service to help users do just that.
Zuckerberg mentions adding new tools for the social graph.
(1:03 p.m.) COO Sheryl Sandburg and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are in the house.