Facebook on Tuesday unveiled Graph Search, a powerful new search feature that automatically filters user searches by content type in real time, showing results for such complex queries as “Friends” in a particular location, or “Photos before 1999.”
But for all of the lengthy demonstrations and information that Facebook revealed about how Graph Search — now in limited beta for U.S. users, rolling out for everyone later — some outstanding questions remained, namely, whether Facebook would immediately move to present new advertisements in Graph Search results, and when the new search engine would be available for users of Facebook’s mobile apps and mobile website.
Facebook has now related some answers on those questions to TPM.
Regarding advertisements, Graph Search will for the time being show only an older type of Facebook advertisement, “Sponsored Results,” which are ads tagged to user search terms that appear among desktop search results in a separate “Sponsored” section. Facebook has offered these ad units since August 2012.
“As in the existing search bar, Sponsored Results are still available in Graph Search. Sponsor Results allow you to promote results in the search bar and will appear in both old and new search bar,” a Facebook spokesperson told TPM in a statement. “We are not launching any new ad capabilities at this time, and there are no ads in the search results page.”
However, as Facebook notes in its documentation for developers using the Sponsored Results Facebook API: “Ads only show in desktop search results, not on mobile and not on the ‘more results’ page.”
So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Facebook is also openly stating its intention to bring updates to Facebook search on mobile devices.
But the company did not disclose a timeline for bringing Graph Search itself to its mobile app. In fact, its statement to TPM was unclear as to whether Graph Search itself would be coming at all. As Facebook wrote:
“People can still search on their phones, such as people’s names and pages, but without the search improvements announced today, including searching in simple phrases or combining multiple sets of search criteria. We are working on mobile updates for search. For local businesses around them, consumers can use Nearby.”
In its last quarterly earnings statement in October 2012, Facebook reported that ad revenue was $1.09 billion, accounting for 86 percent of the total company’s revenue and a 36 percent increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, mobile advertisements in particular accounted for 14 percent of total ad revenue at $153 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook is due to release its fourth quarter 2012 results on January 30.