Facebook “Graph Search” Fails to Impress Wall Street

None of the wild rumors surrounding Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) much-anticipated announcement today proved true. And so far, Wall Street isn’t loving the reality of the social network’s latest innovation.

“Come and See What We’re Building” was the invitation Facebook sent media members, asking them to attend today’s mysterious press event held on their Menlo Park, California campus. Turns out Mark Zuckerberg and company are “building” what they’re calling a “graph search” – a new service that allows users to search their social connections by interests, places and photos.

Here’s how it works: graph search will enable Facebook users to perform more detailed searches of their online friends. For instance, if you’re searching for friends who live in Washington, D.C., who like Chinese food, and who enjoyed the movie “Django Unchained” – theoretically, graph search would allow you to do that.

Unfortunately for Facebook, the graph search announcement doesn’t seem to be knocking investors’ socks off. An hour after the conclusion of today’s mystery press event, Facebook shares had already declined 2%.

The disappointment is understandable. The words “graph search” don’t have the same sex appeal as, say, a Facebook smartphone or a new gaming platform – two of the many widely speculated rumors of what Facebook could be building.

Plus, the “graph search” is confusing. Any non-computer geek’s first question after hearing the graph search announcement was surely, “What’s that?” It’s not a concept we’re familiar with, like a smartphone or a new online game.

That said, perhaps once investors wrap their heads around what graph search actually is – and how it might contribute to Facebook’s future growth – then maybe we’ll look back on this day as a watershed moment for the most prominent social media companies in the world.

For now, though, disappointment and confusion are driving Facebook shares down.

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