Welcome to our Facebook event live blog, where we’ll be covering today’s Facebook announcement, expected to be big mobile news. We’ll be updating this announcement live blog once the Facebook event starts today at 10am PT / 1pm ET. The event is taking place at Facebook’s offices and the tech press is eagerly watching to see what the company has in store.
Live blog: (all time stamps are ET)
1:50pm: It’ll be public in a matter of “weeks and months.”
1:49pm: Mobile, open graph, and all languages are things coming in the future, says Zuckerberg.
1:46pm: They’ve got a partnership with Bing so when Facebook can’t find you results they’ll show you what Bing recommends.
1:44pm: Zuck is back on stage, emphasizing that this is just the first stage of the product. “It’s a completely new way for people to find information on Facebook.”
1:36pm: For the market watchers out there.. Facebook (FB) is flat from this morning; Linkedin (LNKD) is down half a percent; Yahoo (YHOO) is flat; Yelp (YELP) is down 7%; Google (GOOG) is up half a percent.
1:34pm: Ok, now it’s getting pretty cool. It’s a well known fact that most of my friends’ taste is terrible. But now Facebook is saying Graph Search lets you search things like “TV shows liked by doctors” or software engineers or whatever. It makes it easy to segment with intuitive searches.
1:32pm: He’s talking now about searching for movies your friends like to figure out what to watch on Netflix. Incidentally, I’ve long wanted to be able to do this, for music in particular.
1:30pm: Here’s one application: looking for photos of your friends as babies or kids. Here’s Sheryl Sandberg as a child:
1:27pm: But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to creep on peoples’ photos. (Phew!) Lars from Facebook has taken the stage to talk photos.
1:26pm: So why does Facebook want to be the recruiting king? I’m thinking out loud but perhaps they see the path to monetization running through more business-like content and activity.
1:25pm: Aaaand here’s a direct shot at LinkedIn: “Graph Search is a powerful recruiting tool.”
1:24pm: Graph Search is in a limited beta, meaning that it’s only open to a small number of users in the U.S. for now.
1:22pm: Facebook has released its official press release. Here it is. ” Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.”
1:20pm: Here’s a fun stat: “Our 1 billion users have uploaded 240 billion photos, made 1 trillion connections.”
1:19pm: “This is not keyword search.” -Zuckerberg.
1:17pm: So what do people think? How big a deal is this? It’s basically the who, what, where of search, powered by all the activity Facebook is capturing. Will people use it? Will you? For what? Let me know in the comments.
1:15pm: Ok, now we’re getting around to what you can do with this. What if you want to have a Game of Thrones viewing party, Zuck asks. Search for your local friends who like Game of Thrones.
1:12pm: Zuck is showing off the various filters that together encompass Graph Search. Demographics, Facebook activity, and more.
1:11pm: 10% of Facebook’s CPU capacity is spent just checking privacy. Also, Ben Parr (formerly Mashable) says via Twitter there’ll be more than one announcement today. We’ll see.
1:10pm: The other huge challenge here, he admits, is privacy. Wants to build search that is privacy aware.
1:09pm: Zuck: “We are not indexing the web. We are indexing our mpa of the graph.”
1:08pm: The three Facebook pillars: News feed, Timeline, and today Zuck will be telling us about the third pillar: “graph search”.
1:06pm: Zuckerberg opens with the importance of the social graph, the map of connectedness that is Facebook.
1:04pm: Sheryl Sandberg has showed up, and Zuck has the mic. And we’re off!
1:02pm: Here’s a look in side the Facebook HQ courtesy of The Verge, which is reporting ten demo stations set up:
1:00pm: Last minute chatter reveals journos still have utterly no clue what this is all about… good stuff. It’s getting to be about that time…
12:55pm: We’re following along live and will be updating soon as things kick off at Facebook HQ. Stay tuned!
12:41pm: For those hanging out waiting for the live blog to begin: what do you think the announcement will be? Leave me a comment and we’ll see afterwards who was right!
12:37pm: We’re excited to live blog today’s announcement and will be getting started in about 20 minutes.
As we’ve reported, even hours away from the big announcement, the press has little to no idea what to expect. Something to do with mobile, we’re told, but that’s it. Naturally, talk has turned to the possibility of a “Facebook phone,” potentially a forked version of Android customized by Facebook. Rumors of some sort of new search feature have also abounded. But that’s all they are – rumors.
Zuckerberg is known to hate leaks, and the company seems to have succeeded in keeping a lid on this news.
Wilder rumors include some actual mobile hardware – extremely unlikely, given the company’s constant denials – or some news about Instagram. At this point in the company’s maturation there’s reason to think such an announcement might also concern a more clear monetization strategy on mobile, but what that could be again amounts merely to speculation. The latest bit of monetization news that we’ve covered concerns the company’s experiments around charging for Facebook messages to non-friends, including up to a price point of $100. But little is known about the company’s plans in that area.
Facebook shares are up slightly today, currently listed at $31.27 per share as of this writing, and we’ll watch how the share price responds to whatever today’s announcement brings. For more info, check out our previous two posts on the event, or this TechCrunch speculation on the products Facebook should be building.