Today, Facebook announced Graph Search, the ability for users to more easily search for information related to their social graph. Users could always search, but the results were typically line items that required a second click to access to see if the results were relevant. Graph Search adds many capabilities, adding search by friends, places, pictures and interests. Results come back in a sharp looking, almost curated way. Graph Search indexes user’s current social graph and as of right now, Facebook says that privacy setting haven’t changed.
It would take Facebook a lot of time and money to get users to wholesale change their search starting point. How motivated are you to switch your search starting point from Google, Bing, or Yahoo to Facebook? Therefore it makes sense for Facebook to court Bing and Yahoo to integrate these results. Then the real Google threat starts to emerge. Google has a much, much shallower social graph search as they only have Google+ to leverage, which is interesting, but small.
Time is of the essence if Bing, Yahoo, and Facebook want to lean into this and get aggressive, otherwise this will be yet another neat Facebook tool that didn’t drive revenue.