Facebook recently introduced its new Graph Search feature to all US users. The new feature allows users to do searches that gives a more detailed result from their list of Facebook friends. Facebook users now have the ability to search status updates, friends photographs, locations and posts within the Facebook Social Graph. This new search feature will allow the user to complete a search from within their circle of friends public information and will not dig deep into any private information a user has blocked from public view. Basically it will organize users data in a more user friendly way and allow friends to interact with each other in a way never before seen on Facebook.
Several Hundreds of Millions of People Affected
Facebook told reporters that after six months of extensive testing, millions upon millions of users who have US English as their language setting will now be able to enjoy the latest search feature. When the CEO of Facebook was asked if this feature is similar to the popular web search feature, he replied that unlike web search where it takes any open ended query and gives you links to potential answers, that Facebooks Graph Search gives you a more precise answer to your question. If you are looking for friends who have an interest in Bigfoot or UFO’s, the new search feature will scan Facebook and return results that show posts, pictures and groups that are directly related to that search term. The new Graph Search also means users will have a much easier time searching for old content as opposed to scanning a friends wall for posts and pictures.
Whats Old Is New Again
In the Facebook world, information is being added at a lightning fast pace and it becomes near impossible to remember all the things your friends and associates like and dislike. As the amount of friends increase, so does the amount of information these friends bring to Facebook. With Graph Search, the ability to organize and to socialize on a more close level is now possible. If you are looking for friends who are into metal detecting, simply type metal detecting in your new search box and the system will return any posts, pictures and even videos your friends and associates have posted on their walls. This comes in handy when you are looking for the ability to discuss metal detecting and want to talk with people already in your inner circle, rather than joining groups and forums and beginning new relationships with strangers from all over the country. Being able to talk with a friend, classmate or business associate you already know, allows the user to feel more comfortable discussing their hobbies. The users still have the ability to adjust privacy features to their liking, but the ability to read about a specific subject on a friends wall from three years ago, just got much easier.
The Facebook vs. Google Battle
On the surface Facebook has made it clear they do not want another simple Google search bar on their website. They feel the Graph Search is a more intimate search feature allowing its users to search their inner circle of friends in a more private way. Many times close friends share experiences such as the prom, dances, dates or sporting events from many years ago. Being able to look up a particular event shared by a few friends adds incredible value to the overall Facebook experience. Facebook feels that their search will not generate thousands of results that may or may not be related to the search as Google search does. However, many feel that Facebook is simply following in Googles footsteps on a different platform. Google has implemented into its search feature the ability for ads to appear that are in direct relation to the search being conducted. While Facebook does not currently have the ads matching the search on its website, it seems a nice fit in the near future as the advertising aspect is in itself a billion dollar industry. Facebook could be positioning itself to try and steer some of that revenue away from Google into its pockets.
The Big Facebook Picture
Whatever the underlying reason for the new Graph Search, Facebook has definitely added some value to the overall user experience with this latest feature. In addition to searching for old classmates, ex lovers and old co-workers, this feature does offer significant value to those users looking to grow a business. If you wanted to find potential customers or clients for a business you own, the ability to look in your inner circle for potential users of your offering is a huge benefit. If you recently opened a nail salon and creating a Fan Page hasn’t gotten you the additional exposure you planned on, imagine if you had the ability to do a search and were given pictures of all your friends and associates who have had their nails done and posted pictures of the work they had. Being able to target those people and contact them directly with offers to check out your new business is a huge asset. Whether asking them to pass on the word, or picking them up as new clients, the possibilities are endless with the new Graph Search.