Facebook search now lets you find specific posts, not just people

It’s been almost two years since Facebook launched Graph Search, an ambitious and comprehensive tool that you can use to search your connections based on their Facebook behaviors. Now the company is presenting its next big update to its search product, and it’s the kind of idea that is so simple at first glance that it’s surprising Facebook doesn’t already have it. Starting today, Facebook users can use keywords to search for specific individual posts, not just for other users and pages.

Now when you start typing an entry in Facebook’s search box, it will offer you keyword suggestions for any name you might enter. “Jessica woods muir.” By tapping on these suggestions, a “post-centric” search results page now appears for individual Facebook posts containing these words. You’ll still be able to search for connections between people in your network using Graph Search, but Facebook believes these new search results will work especially better on mobile – an initiative that continues to be of the utmost importance to the company. business.

“People want mobile,” explains Rousseau Kazi, research product manager. “We know it’s a business priority, a search priority. People want stronger, better, faster mobile search.” And Facebook believes people want to find not only other people with search, but specific memories, photos, articles, and other content that users share. “We have more than humans on Facebook,” says Rousseau Kazi, research product manager. “People share what makes us human on Facebook, which is really powerful.”

He then gave us a fairly specific example that illustrated how the feature worked. A few months ago, Kazi wore an all-plaid outfit to work after losing a bet, and some of his co-workers took pictures of him and posted them on Facebook. Months later, a search on “Plaid Rousseau Kazi” uncovered a number of specific messages that friends in his network had shared that contained both his name and the word “plaid”.

“People share what makes us human on Facebook, which is really powerful.”

Another example Kazi showed us was a search for “Mark Zuckerberg ebola” – who pulled out a few posts members of his network had shared regarding Zuckerberg’s $ 25 million donation to fight Ebola earlier this fall. Kazi was quick to notice, showing this feature, that these new search results only retrieve posts from people in your network – it’s not a way to find everything posted on Facebook and your settings. confidentiality remain intact. “You can only find posts that have been shared with you,” Kazi explains. “There are no changes to privacy, it’s just things your friends and community have shared with you.

It’s mostly a way to find things that you might have seen on Facebook that you want to check out again, and it looks a lot more like what most people think of Google search than search. graphic. “Our main takeaway here was that [Graph Search] the sentences are complex, “says Kazi.” The point is, we’ve learned that for a typical person, accessing this information is a lot of work – we want to lower that barrier to entry. “

The new search features are rolling out to the desktop today and should appear in an updated iOS app soon. Facebook told us that it should be available to all US users within a few weeks, and once the launch is complete, the company will start work on bringing it to Android and other places. As for the existing graphical search, Facebook also noted that it is finally coming to mobile, which Zuckerberg hinted would return in February of this year. Just like with this new keyboard-based search, Graph Search will first be available on iPhone and will soon be available for Android users.