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Facebook Rolls Out Social Search Feature

Facebook's new Graph Search icon
Source: Facebook.com
Facebook's new Graph Search icon

Facebook unveiled a new social search feature Tuesday that will allow users to search their friends' content on the Facebook platform.

(Read More: Facebook Live Blog )

"Our mission is to make the world more open," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the event which was hosted at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

(Read More: One Thing We Know Facebook Is Working On (We Think) )

Facebook's stock took a hit on the news, while the search giant Google's stock got a bump. Yelp's stock also fell on the announcement.

"I think what you have here is a natural sell the news reaction, however, the stock has been one of the better performers of all the Internet names in the last couple of months," said Jordan Rohan, managing director and senior analyst for Stifel Nicolaus on CNBC Tuesday. "And I think as people realize that there are infrastructure achievements that may need to roll out first before the businesses can be built on the back of those, that's what matters."

He said that Facebook has a lot of upside in the long-term, in the near-term he said that mobile ads will help boost the stock.

The new feature is called Graph Search and is a social search tool, not a global web search engine like Google, that will allow users to search Facebook's social graph. However, users can only search content that has already been shared with them.

"You can only search content that has been shared with you," Zuckerberg said.

The new feature delivers information with exact answers, Zuckerberg said. For example, if a user searches for friends who live in San Francisco, it will deliver only friends that fit that search.

Hinting at a possible move into the global search business, Zuckerberg said that while the Graph search currently only focuses on people, places, photos and interests, there will be more additions in the future.

"Facebook aims to be central in many, many ways, not just for playing games and looking at photos, they want to be much more useful to their users, which is just about everybody on the web." Rohan said. "In the Internet, being central is the first point of importance, once you're central you can do what Google has done and be the Internet's great toll-taker."

(Read More: Wah? Facebook Wants You to Pay $100 to Message Zuckerberg )

Rohan said that Facebook is currently only central for social endeavors, so the new search feature will help make Facebook's platform much more central for other realms, like recruitment, dating and recommendations for shopping.

Taking a cue from Google, the social network also plans to implement auto-complete search results, where the search engine will try and guess what the user is searching before the entire search is finished being typed.

Graph Search is currently in beta, however, the new feature will eventually appear at the top of each page as a larger search bar.

Facebook users who want to sign up for the waiting list for the beta version of Graph Search can do so on Facebook's website.

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