Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will unveil a "Graph Search" function that will be a pillar of the Facebook experience. The announcement came at the company's headquarters after Facebook invited the press to, "come see what we're building." The Verge was live-blogging the event and noted that the anticipation for Zuckerberg's announcement was palpable.
So, what is Graph Search?
Well, it's not web search. That's for sure. Zuck said, "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."
Graph Search is designed to help navigate through the connections on Facebook. Which of your friends live in Philadelphia? Which of your friends like Homeland? Who likes Homeland AND lives in Philadelphia? Now you can throw a viewing party. Who likes Rizzoli and Isles? Now you can unfriend those people.
You can continuously refine your search. It starts with the people you care about the most (your 5, if you will) and expands out to include mutual friends and friends of mutual friends and so on. They're basically streamlining the process of Facebook-stalking someone.
Let's say your friend Kevin organizes a happy hour and you aren't entirely bored by one person that you meet there. You're talking to him/her and things are going well, but you have to leave because that girl your friend was talking to/kind of seeing is bartending there and it's hella awkward or you NEED to go put the entire Hall & Oates greatest hits album (Rock 'n Soul Part I, duh) on the jukebox at a second location or you've been kindly asked to leave by a trio of bouncers or, maybe, you're terrified that you're not all that interesting and ending the conversation early will save you the embarrassment of being all, "Yeah, so, that weather, huh?"
Well, after you chicken out, you can use Graph Search to more easily find that semi-random person who didn't make you want to barf.
Friends of Kevin. Named *****. Checked in at that bar on Foursquare that day. Boom. Now you can creepily add that person on Facebook and go about forcing a "natural" encounter. It's basically dating 101.
Graph Search has a bunch of other uses, like networking and recruiting and scouting locations via your friends' vacation photos. But, don't let that fool you. It's really just a tool to help you cyberstalk minor acquiantances in the hope that you won't die alone.
Good luck with that.