From a Facebook Announcement:
Today we’re announcing a new way to navigate these connections and make them more useful. We’re calling it Graph Search, and it starts today with a limited preview, or beta.
When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections. Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.
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.
Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public. We’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook. It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.
We’re very early in the development of Graph Search. It’s only available in English today and you can search for only a subset of content on Facebook. Posts and Open Graph actions (for example, song listens) are not yet available. We’ll be working on these things over the coming months.
The first version of Graph Search will on four areas. Here’s the list with examples of what a search of the graph might look like. Note the natural language.
1. People (“Friends Who Live in My City”, “Friends of Friends Who Have Been to Yosemite National Park”)
2. Photos ( “Photos of My Friends Before 1999)
3. Places (“Indian Restaurants Liked by My Friends From India”)
4. Interests (“Books read by CEOs”, “Movies Liked by People Who Like Movies I Like)
More info here (Facebook’s Graph Search info page) and continuing coverage and analysis at Search Engine Land. Danny Sullivan is also live blogging the announcement event here.
See Also: Facebook Graph Privacy
Want to Try Out Graph Search? Head here to register and join the waiting list.
Update: Here’s a 2.5 minute from Facebook Discussing Privacy and Graph Search