Updated from Dec. 8th to provide more context on Graph Search in the seventh paragraph.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (TheStreet) -- Say goodbye to Facebook (FB) Graph Search and hello to Facebook Search. The social network has overhauled its search experience to remove the natural language barrier, and give its English-speaking members the ability to perform a keyword search on their desktop or iPhone and find buried status updates.
Facebook Search marks a major undertaking by the social network to become a more top-of-mind destination for queries, but the endeavor is of little value to investors as it remains an ad-free zone. This is no Google (GOOG) killer. Still, if successful, the social network could boost engagement metrics and get users to come back on a more regular basis, which could translate into more eyeballs on ads elsewhere on the service. But as it stands, the launch barely moved the needle. Facebook closed up less than a quarter of a percent on Monday at $76.52.
The search release comes nearly two years after the social network's Graph Search flamboyantly first launched, and subsequently flopped, as a way to type natural language phrases -- "my friends who like Boo" or "photos from last year liked by my friends" -- to find people, places, Pages, and photos on the Web.
Monday's revamp, which scraps "Graph" from the name, may go unnoticed by the 1.35 billion people who use the site each month -- and that's a good thing, as it strips out the complexities introduced by Graph Search. Now people can search for content they may actually want to find (old posts), and do so in a familiar manner (keywords).