Facebook wants you to have more search options at your fingertips. Today, the company unveiled Graph Search. Graph Search meshes together your News Feed and Timeline to provide you with answers to questions about your friends. Details that your friends have shared with you will now pop up when you conduct a basic search, making finding information easier. How is Graph Search different from a web search? Facebook representatives claim that the two are like apples and oranges or Google and Bing.
Graph Search VS. Web Search
Facebook’s new Graph Search allows you to search for random phrases like “friends who have eaten at Les Halles in NYC.” When conducting this type of search, friends of yours who have actually eaten at Les Halles will show up in search results. If you’re thinking about privacy issues, you can rest assured that Facebook has built Graph Search based on privacy concerns. Company reps stated today that privacy settings would be respected, and that friend information will only pop up if that friend has shared specific search details with you before. So, you won’t find out anything new about your friends, but you will be able to group friends together according to interests easier.
The idea behind Graph Search is to let users see what friends have which interests in common. Then, maybe, those friends will get together outside of Facebook in the real world. Facebook is also teaming up with Microsoft’s Bing to provide search results for those searches that return no Facebook queries. Is this news as exciting as the media is portraying it to be? Well, that depends what side of the fence you’re sitting on.
Graph Search For Advertisers
If you run a business, now is your time to shine. Why? Think of all the users who have “liked” your business on Facebook. Now, think of all the times that your business could, potentially, show up in a Graph Search result. Are you seeing the big picture? If you add random activities to the info section of your business, you may just show up in many different search results. This could, in turn, result in many new fans for your Facebook page, which could turn into additional profits.
The Release of Graph Search
Facebook has stated that Graph Search will take some time to exit beta mode. However, companies and individuals can sign up to take part in the beta experiment by visiting Facebook’s main website. The company has to take some time to query all user profile information and to get the ball rolling smoothly on the new Graph Search, but it should be an interesting new feature once it does arrive.
At the moment, Facebook users have mixed feelings when it comes to the newly announced Graph Search. Some users see a lot of advantage to grouping friends together according to activities while other users are simply turned away by this collection of information. Do keep in mind, though, that your privacy settings will be kept as is.