Good news on mobile, Zuckerberg! Now answer these six questions

Mark Zuckerberg and his top lieutenants of course had plenty to say about the social network's fourth-quarter performance on yesterday's earnings call with investors and analysts. But what they didn't say proves more telling.

When it came to Facebook's newfound health on mobile, they shared lots. So much, in fact, that it obscured hot topics such as the engagement potential of the just-rolled-out Graph Search; Facebook Gifts; and the Instagram backlash over the terms of service mess.

Intentional oversights? Absolutely. Wise withholdings? The jury's still out as investors consider -- maybe guess is a better … Read more

Facebook answers questions about privacy in Graph Search

Facebook is going on the defensive with an explanatory new blog post and video that attempt to assuage privacy concerns around Graph Search, the company's beta search tool for uncovering people, places, photos, and interests that have been buried alive inside the social network.

Graph Search, launched in beta about two weeks ago, offers Facebook users a new way to discover information on the social network, but it also exposes a copious amount of personal data that members may not realize is available for public scrutiny. "Actual Facebook Graph Searches," a one-day Tumblr experiment, exposed the tell-all … Read more

Wii U getting updates, new games

Wednesday's CNET Update:

Stories mentioned in today's tech news roundup:

- Nintendo announced several updates and new games for the Wii U console.

- GigaOM's report on DIAL, a protocol being worked on by Netflix and YouTube for second-screen apps.

- Google beat analyst expectations by reporting its first-ever $50 billion year.

- Tumblr: Actual Facebook Graph Searches

Watch CNET Update in the video above, or subscribe to the podcast via the links below.


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Facebook Graph searches: Hooker hunger and other delish data

Facebook Graph Search enables a type of discovery never before possible -- you know, like learning which of your married friends like prostitutes. True story.

Tom Scott, a self-described Web comedian, has created a brilliant but disconcerting Tumblr blog called "Actual Facebook Graph Searches" to showcase some of the problematic side effects of a search engine that surfaces tidbits the masses never intended to see the light of the day.

Graph Search, launched in limited beta last week, is Facebook's version of the search engine. It's a structured entity that directs members down a rabbit hole of revelations around people, places, interests, and photos. It's fun, fascinating, and quite freaky, as Scott's Tumblr shows us, particularly if you're interested in "Married people who like Prostitutes" or "Single women who live nearby and who are interested in men and like Getting Drunk!" … Read more

Find, delete your profane posts on Facebook with FaceWash

It's easy to write a quick post on Twitter or Facebook in a moment of joy -- or rage -- exclaiming your emotion with a few profane words in tow. But over time the way we want to use a social network may change, and it might make more sense for Facebook to become a professional representation of yourself. And with Graph Search just around the corner, your Facebook past is going to be extremely easy to search; possibly surfacing a side of you you'd rather not have your potential employers or family members see. Heck, you may … Read more

Facebook Graph Search: 4 big reasons it matters

In its most basic state, Facebook's nascent Graph Search is a structured search engine for finding people, places, photos, and interests on Facebook. But the third-pillar product, which surfaces information hiding in Facebook's secret garden, has depth that we're only beginning to understand.

Graph Search is a new paradigm in search that could make modern search giants start to look dated. It's also a powerful new vehicle for discovery. Ultimately, Graph Search is smart, original, and a foundational piece of Facebook's future as a relevant social network.

Let's talk about why.

1. Graph Search … Read more

Facebook unveils new search tool (week in review)

Facebook unveiled a new tool this week it touts as helping find people, photos, places, and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users.

Graph Search is the social network's newest way for users to make sense of its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Graph Search is launching to a small number of people and is available only on the desktop and in English for the time being.

People … Read more

What should Google do about Facebook Graph Search?

When Facebook introduced its next-generation search product in Menlo Park, Calif., this week, the announcement was no doubt being watched closely in nearby Mountain View.

The data that Google engineers have craved for years -- rich portraits of connections between people, places, and things, all tied to real identities -- was suddenly searchable on Facebook. It's data Google is trying to replicate, using Google+ and other products, but there's no doubt that Facebook's billion-member network has given it the advantage. You can imagine the Google crew listening to Mark Zuckerberg describe the data that underpins Graph Search … Read more

Graph Search augurs Age of Enlightenment for Facebook

After nine years of colonizing the globe and corralling a billion people, Facebook has found a way to unlock the potential of its massive data collection -- a basic semantic search engine that will let it build smarter services for travel, food, recruitment, dating and other verticals that will generate revenue that could rival Google's.

Connecting people via News Feeds (what's going on in the world) and Timelines (who you are) will be remembered as Facebook's Renaissance era, weaving a social fabric into the Internet with 1 trillion connections. Graph Search is the beginning of the Enlightenment, … Read more