It seems like we've been speculating for such a long time that Facebook would release its own smartphone. And while we're still waiting to see that after years of rumors, today it's a surprise to many that Mark Zuckerberg called a press conference today and introduced the "very early" beta version of its new Graph Search.
Ever since the lukewarm IPO launch, people have wondered how Facebook is going to make more money, and I think today's announcement is a big part of the answer.
Reports are saying that this is where Facebook will start to compete with Google in search. That's just wrong. The announcement is very clear in distinguishing web search (which is what Google and Bing do) and what Graph Search will do, which is basically a more advanced search on only the data in Facebook, some of which isn't public.
I think this quote sums it up pretty well: "It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook." It relies heavily on likes and connections to get results, which might give it more of a Reddit feel.
They've essentially created a dating search engine as well. You can search for single men who are friends with people you are friends with. You can also search your combined friends' photos and interests by keyword or even do recruiting/job search.
I'm more interested to see what's under the covers of Graph Search. Hopefully it will be revealed in some conference down the road. Right now all we know that it's another ringing endorsement for graph databases and their necessity for solving some of the signal to noise problems in the Internet age.