4Q EARNINGS CALL: Mark Zuckerberg Discusses Future Of Graph Search, Trending

Trending650Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg cited Graph Search and trending topics in response to a question during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call about his thoughts on real-time information and news as it relates to public content.

Zuckerberg’s answer to Morgan Stanley Analyst Scott Devitt:

Starting with Graph Search, we’re really early in the game on this, and I think you can see that because we haven’t even really rolled out our mobile version of Graph Search yet, and we’re a mobile company, and we started on desktop. The way that we’re thinking about this, there’s just so much content that people have shared on Facebook that simply building the infrastructure to index all of it and start ranking it is a multiyear effort, which we’re making our way through.

So the first release indexed more than 1 trillion connections between all of the people and interests and events and groups and things that everyone was connected to. The second release that we did recently was around all of the updates. So there are more than 1 trillion status updates and unstructured text posts and photos and pieces of content that people have shared over the past 10 years, and indexing that was a really big deal, because as the number of people on the team who have worked on Web search engines in the past have told me, 1 trillion pieces of content is more than the index in any Web search engine.

So we’re kind of making our way through this. Pretty soon, I think you should expect us to roll out the mobile version of this. I think that’s going to be an important step, because most of the usage in Facebook overall is on mobile, so we expect that that’s where engagement will really start to come from on Graph Search over time.

But it’s also only in English so far, and we have to internationalize it. So there’s a long roadmap of things that we need to do that I think is pretty clear, but it’s just going to be incredibly useful when it’s ready. We look at this as an investment over a three- to five-year period rather than a one- to two-year or shorter period. So that’s how I think about that.

The other question was about trending topics, and that really ties into the public content push that we have. And we talked a bit about this before. We’re trying to build great experiences for all types of content that people want to share and consume with all audiences.

We think public content is great. Folks who are making news or premium content on TV, or movies, or celebrities and different types of folks are extremely interesting and produce great content, and we want to be a great place for people to share that content, and for people to be able to learn about it and consume it. So trending topics is one step in what you will see as a pretty long roadmap of things that we’re going to do to make Facebook great for public content.

Readers: Have you taken advantage of Facebook’s trending feature?

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