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Facebook Social Networks

Facebook Announces Social Search Tools 128

Today at a press conference in California, Mark Zuckerberg announced a big new feature from Facebook: Graph Search. It's a set of tools designed to quickly bring together social information involving "people, photos, places, and interests" in response to a user's query. Zuckerberg was quick to point out that they aren't indexing the web, and thus aren't challenging Google. However, it will use the vast volumes of data already stored on Facebook to answer questions like "What kinds of movies do my friends like?" and "Who are friends of friends that are single in San Francisco?" Addressing the obvious privacy concerns, the company said it wouldn't allow users to search content that wasn't already shared with them (or already public). The searched data does, however, include location data, if it's been shared — you can search by places your friends have been. Significantly, the official site also mentions that Graph Search will help you meet new people, something Facebook hasn't really highlighted until now. Graph Search is being rolled out as a limited beta, with only a few thousand participants. In the coming months, they'll open it to more users and continue working on mobile and non-English versions.
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Facebook Announces Social Search Tools

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  • by scorp1us ( 235526 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @03:55PM (#42595627) Journal

    I use my profile to bookmark (and share) waht I find interesting. The problem is, if I need to find something over 2 weeks old it takes forever to find it. Why can't I search my own profile?

  • Underimpressed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:07PM (#42595773) Homepage Journal
    They even got the BBC excited with the news of their news conference. Then the big announcement is this? Really? If it isn't going to turn into big piles of $$ for investors by this afternoon, they better have something earth-shattering coming in real soon. Right now they have a lot of shareholders who are nervous about how much money they lost in a hurry on opening day, and I don't see how this will help them (and I am most certainly glad to not be one of those investors).
  • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @04:21PM (#42595919)

    DUMB families, that is. When you have Dropbox, SpiderOak, Microsoft's whatever-it's-called storage service, why in the name of the Unholy would you stick to Facebook?
    Yes, my sister shrugged when I had her go to a Dropbox link to download my kid's pictures, but I basically told her that's how I function and she either can go there or wait until she sees him directly. Or I could send the pictures to her through Yahoo Messenger Send File option.
    Bot NOT Facebook. No, thanks.

  • Re:Great! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:05PM (#42597681)

    Additional levels of automated stalking!!!

    Don't you understand? People who sign up for Facebook *WANT* these things - their pathetic lives would be even less without their "friends". Without Facebook, many people have NOTHING!

    Your "Troll" mod was not because you said anything inaccurate. It is because we live in an increasingly emotionally immature society where the pleasantness of a thing is considered more important than the truth of a thing. It is the result of being governed by emotion and not reason. Whoever modded you "Troll" is like that. Sadly, many people are unable to calmly articulate their own opinion, so they need to "get back at you" in some way for offending them. After all, you didn't constantly say things like "well just my opinion" (something already understood) and "hope it doesn't offend anyone" (that is their choice) to kiss their asses and placate their desire to climb up on their high horse and cry about how terrible you are. Their self-importance and false sense of entitlement demand that you show such undue deference, you know.

    Anyway, when you have real friends whom you love and respect like family members, and a satisfying social life, Facebook has no appeal. All Facebook offers that cannot easily be had elsewhere is the exchange of trivia with and casual attention from strangers or superficial acquaintences. The trade-off of losing so much irretrievable privacy in exchange for something so devoid of real value makes no sense. To those who are not starved for attention, it is all minuses and no plusses. The bandwagon it has become is also unappealing to those who are not herd animals, who don't find "everyone else is doing it" to be a valid reason to do anything.

    I can certainly see how those who otherwise would have no satisfying social life might find it appealing. This merely constitues Facebook taking advantage of a weakness/shortcoming and exploiting it in order to make money. The disrespect they frequently show to their userbase and the obvious disregard of basic privacy concerns makes it inherently exploitative in nature. It's something that a healthy, happy person who is not needy would refuse to tolerate. Zuckerberg's contempt for his own users has been repeatedly established by his very own statements. This is someone people want to trust with so much personal data? It's absurd and indicates that many people have no idea whom they're dealing with, or simply no real discerning standards for themselves.

    If someone has to data-mine and connect lots of different dots and perform all kinds of automated searches in order to find you, it is because you didn't want to be found. That's why such vast systems and huge databases were necessary to do something that is otherwise so simple. If you want someone to be involved in your life in some way, none of that would be needed.

    I do agree with your premise that for people who have little else, this kind of attention may actually be welcome. Of course that is pathological, used as a terrible substitute for real fulfillment and real quality time with people who actually love and understand you. This should be obvious, but when lots of people want to legitimize something, the first thing they must do is create confusion and complicate otherwise simple things. When enough people do that, it can make the obvious seem controversial when really it is merely inconvenient (the gun control "debate" is that way - wow criminals don't obey weapons restrictions, who'da thunk it?).

    Finally, I wonder: how many people would have had to face and overcome their personal social weaknesses if they hadn't had Facebook as a readily available crutch?

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend