Graph Search is Facebook’s on-site function that serves social media content to users based on specific keywords. Essentially, it’s a semantic search engine unveiled in March 2013, aimed at improving the network’s user experience.

When Facebook members use Graph Search, they can expand their queries and include longtail key phrases to find exactly what they’re looking for on the site. The feature uses big data analytics to sort through information from its more than 1 billion monthly active users and deliver a search-engine like experience. It helps users find public posts, people, Pages, events, applications, groups, places, check-ins and other personalized snippets of information.

For example, a user who wants to find a new restaurant close by can search “Restaurants in Boston, MA.” Graph Search will scan its servers and return links to Facebook Pages endorsed and Liked by the user’s friends. Perhaps the person could discover a hot spot his best friend goes to, and they can meet there for lunch.

Facebook’s Graph Search also integrates well with Bing. When a web users enters a query into Graph Search that requires information not available or not hosted on Facebook, the algorithm will return Bing search results and request the user navigate elsewhere for the desired content.

What makes Graph Search so monumental is its ability to combine social and search into one seamless action. A Facebook member can access a variety of media sources from the network itself, which keeps people engaged on the site longer and weans them off of Google Search one entry at a time.