Facebook Graph Search Now Lets You Search for Past Posts By Keyword

Facebook is getting serious with search. More than a year later, Facebook has finally rolled out its Graph Search to iOS and web, with an added keyword search feature that will allow users to search for past posts.

Users will now be able to search for posts, photos, and videos to relive past graduations, birthdays, or Christmas tacky sweater parties simply by typing in a few descriptive keywords in the search bar. According to Facebook, it’s the site’s most requested feature by its users since it first introduced its Graph Search back in January 2013.

Back in September 2013, Facebook mentioned that users would be able to search for public posts from people they didn’t follow. However, that didn’t end up happening. Facebook found that during testing, a majority of users were most interested in finding old post made by friends and Pages they like.

Now, Facebook is back with a new ambitious keyword search tool that will likely compete with Google and Twitter search. The new Facebook feature indexes the News Feed much like in the way Google indexes web pages.

How Facebook’s New Keyword Search Works

Facebook mentioned in their official blog post on Monday (Dec 8) that all searches made by users on the site will be “personalized and unique to you.” Users will only be able to search for posts they have made themselves, posts made by those they follow, or posts they have access to. Even if posts are made “public” for everyone to see, they cannot be searched by absolutely everyone.

When you start typing an entry in Facebook’s search box, it’ll offer you suggestions for any name you might enter. By typing in “Jessica,” you will get a list of several friends named, “Jessica”. If you continue to add words such as “wedding,” you will be to see a list of related posts with those keywords.

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The new feature was especially made to make it easier for users to search on mobile devices, a big focus for the social media giant. Beyond just inviting some nostalgia, the new Facebook search tool could make it easier to track purchase intent, something that could largely compete with Google ads. What’s more, instead of having to sift through news feeds and entering in hashtags, Facebook could provide users the opportunity to find what their friends and family feel about certain current events and trends, offering a more personal touch than Twitter or Google can provide.

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