Facebook appears to be rolling out a new set of mobile search filters today that let users refine results by date, location and/or source.
A search for “wendy’s” this afternoon in Facebook’s iOS app prompted the pop-up alert shown above, encouraging us to “use filters to refine your search results with more precision.” From there, two of the five tabbed search results offer the additional filters — Top and Photos. The other three tabs (People, Latest and Videos) don’t show the filters button in the upper right corner.
Facebook is offering three kinds of filters: source (aka “Posted by”), location and date. You can refine results based on source, with options including “You,” “Your Friends” and “Your Friends and Groups.” A fourth option, “Choose a Source,” lets you type the name of a specific Facebook user — including brands/Pages. It doesn’t, as best I can tell, let you query the way Graph Search used to, with phrases like “people who live in California.”
The screen shots below show a search for “wendy’s” with location set to Seattle, Washington — something of potential value to businesses using Facebook — and then a search for photos of “wendy’s” with date set to 2015.
Marketing Land’s staff have not been able to replicate this experience in Facebook’s Android app.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for more information — i.e., is this a test or a wide rollout? — and we’ll update this post if and when we get more information.
Facebook has been dabbling in search for years now and has yet to succeed in developing a truly useful internal search tool.
Postscript: Facebook has confirmed that this is a broad rollout of the new search filters, not a test. The company also says that the rollout is beginning with iOS, but the search filters will eventually make their way to Facebook’s Android app and the desktop search experience.