October 1, 2013, 9:34 AM

Facebook adds posts and status updates to Graph Search results

The social network’s search personalizes results based on users’ connections.

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Facebook Inc. yesterday began adding posts and status updates to its Graph Search on-site search engine. The social network says it is slowly rolling out the expanded results to a “small group” of users who have Graph Search.

Graph Search, which Facebook began rolling out to U.S. users in July, personalizes search results based on a user’s connections to people, photos, places and interests on the social network. That means  a user who searches “jewelry stores” will see posts, status updates and page information for retailers that her friends have Liked or interacted with—for instance, she might see her friend’s post that she is with her boyfriend looking at engagement rings at a local jeweler.

Consumers type their queries into a large search box near the top of a Facebook page. The results differ from what consumers see on Google or Bing because Facebook bases its personalization on what it knows about a user's connections with people, places and things. For example, if an individual searches for restaurants in a particular city, the ones most popular with his closest friends are likely to be displayed first. The search engine also can give higher ranks to results similar to the searcher’s existing Likes and interests.

In adding posts and status updates to its results, Facebook is making it “much easier” to find content on the social network, wrote Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook’s public content manager, in a post on Twitter.

Graph Search only shows a user content that has been shared with her—either because the content is public or because her friend chose to share the information with her based on her privacy settings. 

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