Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social network’s beta tool — Graph Search — is available today in limited release. It’s a bigger search bar, within Facebook, that allows members to type in natural language queries and access people, photos, places, and interests embedded within 1 trillion connections. For example, users could search who among their friends have recently bought shoes or eaten dinner in a certain city — the theory being that Graph Search could disrupt the business models of platforms like Yelp, Foursquare, or Google Local.
For now, Graph Search isn’t capable of tracking Facebook posts or Open Graph actions like song listens, which means that the few hundred thousand people who have it will be able to only partially use it. Already, analysts and experts are questioning why Facebook is treating this announcement like a big deal. Predicting that Graph Search could become a major threat to Google and Amazon, for example, seems premature. More skepticism over at CNET.
Graph Search is in limited beta for now; you can sign up to get on the list here.