Facebook's 'Graph Search' Tool: Exclusive Access

'Nightline's' exclusive look behind the scenes at the social network giant's new feature.
3:00 | 01/15/13

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Transcript for Facebook's 'Graph Search' Tool: Exclusive Access
All eyes were on FaceBook -- the social network finally unveiled the new project that until today have been shrouded in mystery. No it's not the phone so many have speculated about but a new social search tool that threatens to invade the turf of Google blinked then and -- FaceBook thinks it could change the way -- billion users interact online in ABC's. David Wright brings us this exclusive. Behind the scenes look. FaceBook headquarters founder Mark Zuckerberg launched a new. Era for the social networking site what are the older traditions that we haven't FaceBook. By holding up of -- Yeah. This little ritual happens only big product launches of FaceBook marking the moment the new product goes on line. -- -- The only vague announcement just come and see what we're building people guest's search engine they -- opted to FaceBook gifts of guest. A FaceBook phone led to a frenzy of speculation about what it might -- maybe a stand alone -- -- -- Not quite FaceBook gave Nightline exclusive access to what they've really been -- A rare behind the scenes look at a product that could change People's Daily habits online. -- searched a powerful tool within uninspiring name a search engine like no other. So this is just some really neat stuff. This is one of the coolest things but I think that we've done. In a while until now FaceBook has been sort of a high tech scrapbook. People constantly update and share with their friends. But it's really a giant database a billion people voluntarily sharing their likes and dislikes. Voluntarily sharing 240 billion photos. Voluntarily forging a trillion connections between all those items until now you could browse only one page at a time. Now the -- database is searchable along with all those connections this -- -- trying to get into the Google business. A little -- if you think of Google as the yellow pages the encyclopedia and the almanac -- rolled into one basic answers to basic questions. Facebook's new -- -- is something far more personal here you get biased results. People are used to doing searches on the web say for a plumber right but you're not used to the idea that you go through say -- all the plumbers in my friends like. That that's almost like a holy Grail in some cases for anybody's ever tried to find somebody that they trust and they really what recommendations from other people that they know. Because oftentimes you can't really tap into all your friends in that way. Depending on your friends and interest some of your search results will be different from mind. What makes this different from a traditional web searches of the results are personalized to you based on you and your -- so if I type. TV shows up my friend's life. The results to come up for me are. World news Nightline and Good Morning America. Don't think it. Thankfully the new tool isn't limited just to your friends. You can actually search all of the data publicly shared on FaceBook chat want to check out if there -- Italian restaurants. In Los Angeles product manager -- -- showed us how you can filter the search further by cuisine by location -- -- your friends' recommendations. That Los Angeles restaurant residents have visited that my friends have visited. And here we have one restaurant that I want to check. I can say firsthand that's a -- -- that's great to hear the possibilities are endless and sometimes -- music. While they were dogs saluting the search tool that's using it only amongst FaceBook employees -- talked to plug in music like to -- people who like Mitt Romney. Top result. Johnny Cash but can change -- Romney to. Barack Obama. Top results there Michael Jackson are you hoping that someday this will. Replace -- or not. With a look at that's not the I don't think that's the way we think about it I mean believe we've put thought about this problem is there's all this stuff that you shared about yourself that you -- -- your friends that you shared about the world around you. And word trying to unlock the value of that and so and to make it all searchable. Now you can collect together all your favorite photos of friends and family for ask you to show you all the photos of those people from a long ago. Content personalized just do you. For now the tool is limited justice for basic categories of people photos places and interest so it can't. Search for things for example light posts combatants those things are not currently. Included in this early version. Search will there be some then yes they will be someday if I for example and that someone at a party. Didn't catch their last name but. You know we talk for a long time that I got a bunch of information just in the course of the conversation I actually do a search like that's so people named. Brass. Who lives in San Francisco. And our friends. -- -- tougher. And here I'm getting back and this person I talked to rest she's a designer we met at a party -- guy yeah -- sparks flew. -- and not look like that you. -- the -- is actually Mary. X amount. You get the -- What FaceBook is done -- kind of digitized people and digitized -- -- -- connections not just with each other but also with people places and things. And now this is a glimmer to what you can you can deal with that new ways to waste time at home and that's. If you could say that although interestingly. You could also say that people have been waiting kind of basement before in this actually might make them more productive in some ways -- The -- record to find out yeah exactly. FaceBook has been careful to reassure people the new search -- respects all the privacy restrictions people put on their data. Engineers say that's one thing that made this project such challenge most of them about fifty in all have been locked in this room for a month. How many of you have like the slept here at least one night while this thing has been in progress. And how many of you have partners at home -- that are ready to kill you. Hello and -- yeah. Today the lockdown officially ended. The celebrations. Begin. By the time -- get home their friends and family. Among the first to get this new -- -- spending even more time on fixed. -- David Wright for Nightline in Menlo Park.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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