Mark Zuckerberg at the Graph press conference.

Facebook’s new Graph search feature is the social media’s first serious attempt at beefing up their search functionality and could have a long term impact on the search market.

Graph is a Facebook-focused search engine that’s designed to help end-users the site’s vast collection of photos, likes and posts. In a press conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg describe Graph as, “Graph Search is a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook.”

Facebook is rolling out Graph slowly (it’s still in beta testing phase) and expects a full roll out to take years. They’ve also partnered with Bing to serve up default searches as the service develops.

Though he never mentioned Google by name, Graph is clearly part of a long-term strategy to give Facebook an edge over the search engine supreme. Graph’s slow, deliberate, roll out is very similar to Google’s patient approach to developing their Google+ social network.

Zuckerber’s betting that as Facebook users will grow accustomed to a social style of searching and slowly ween themselves off of Google.

It’s a big bet that tells you plenty about the scale that Facebook and Google are operating at. Both companies have the resources to implement long-term, strategic plans and that’s just what they’re doing.

Do you think that Facebook can eventually compete with Google in the search engine space? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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