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Facebook unveils search engine for 1 billion people

  • Facebook Graph Search 3.jpg

    Jan. 15, 2013: A new search function announced Tuesday by Facebook allows users to sift through the social network for information about friends and contacts.Facebook

  • Facebook Graph Search 2.jpg

    Jan. 15, 2013: A new search function announced Tuesday by Facebook allows users to sift through the social network for information about friends and contacts.Facebook

  • Facebook Graph Search 1.jpg

    Jan. 15, 2013: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about Facebook Graph Search at a Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Called "graph search," the new feature lets users search their social connections for information about their friends' interests, and for photos and places.AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

  • Facebook Graph Search.jpg

    Jan. 15, 2013: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about Facebook Graph Search at a Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The new service lets users search their social connections for information about their friends interests, and for photos and places.AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

  • facebook event 2013.jpg

    An invitation sent out by Facebook to a Tuesday event offers no explanation for what the company will show off.Facebook

The world’s biggest social network has unveiled a new search engine to let you pore through the 1 trillion connections linking its billion users.

At an event in California -- the company's first major product launch event since its May initial public offering -- founder Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search Beta, which the company says will make the world more open and connected by letting people navigate their connections.  

“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,” the company said.

The new search engine will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. Type in a few words -- “photos I’ve liked” or "friends of friends who are single in San Francisco" -- and the page will instantly refresh with results from the site.

Zuckerberg said the search engine was built to maintain privacy settings that users have already set. And he stressed that Graph Search is not an Internet search engine that competes with Google.

"We are not indexing the web. We are indexing our map of the graph, which is really big and constantly changing. Almost a million new people every day. 240 billion photos. 1 billion people. 1 trillion connections," he said.

Graph Search is available in English today for a limited number of users, and it indexes only a subset of content on Facebook.

Visit www.facebook.com/graphsearch to get on the waitlist.