Zuckerberg: Facebook Graph Search Is “A Five-Year Thing”

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It’s been more than a year since Facebook introduced Graph Search to the world — its first foray into developing a serious search product for Facebook users.

If you think development of Graph Search has been moving at a snail’s pace, you’re probably not alone. The rollout to all U.S. Facebook users took about seven months. It was almost nine months from the launch until users could search their status updates. And more than a year later, Graph Search still isn’t available on mobile.

In a new interview with the New York Times, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that all of this is by design — that Facebook is taking a very long-term, deliberate approach to Graph Search.

With Graph Search, I think that modern search products have so much built into them that we knew it was going to be a five-year investment before we got anything really good and different. So far we’ve done these milestones. The first one was that we were able to search over structured connections on Facebook. That was important as a consumer product and also as infrastructure that we are using inside the company. The next focus is searching posts. All of this has been on desktop, and the real push is mobile. So I’m not that worried about it. I think the real question will be how effective it will be on mobile once post-search works. I think that’s a five-year thing. We have to think about it over a longer period of time.

In other words: Patience, grasshoppers.

The comment in there about mobile being the next “push” area for Graph Search is similar to comments Zuckerberg said on Facebook’s earnings call back in January — that Graph Search will roll out “pretty soon” on mobile. Facebook’s next earnings calls is a week from today (April 23), so we might get another GraphSearch update then … or perhaps at the F8 developers’ conference on April 30.