Consumer Watch: Facebook's new search function

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 27 at 5:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Facebook has been slowly rolling out a new search function to its one billion users, one that draws upon your connections to better sort through information, photos, and likes. Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen got answers from the social networking site about the new tool, and what it means for your privacy.

When looking for a book, a movie or a restaurant, why not get a little help from one billion "friends?" That's kind of the premise behind Facebook's new graph search function.

“Basically what it does is it takes everything that you can already see on Facebook, so the things that you've shared, that your friends have shared that other people on Facebook or in your community have shared, and it gives you a way to search over all of that,” Facebook director of product management, Tom Stocky said.

The search is largely driven by phrases and since it draws upon people you either know or are somehow connected to, the idea is, it gives the recommendations more weight. For example "movies my friends like," or "cafes in Washington my friends visited" you also get to see who likes what.

Right now, the function is only available to a small group of beta users, but you can sign up for a wait list.

“We're rolling this out very slowly because we want to get feedback from people, we want to make sure this is something that's great,” Stocky said.

For those concerned about friends of friends seeing personal information, it's worth clicking on the padlock icon on the login screen and reviewing/adjusting privacy settings on posts past and future, and what's seen by friends, and publicly.

If you have a consumer issue you would like us to look into send and e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.
 

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