January 16, 2013 —
Introducing ‘Graph Search’ – The Newest Tool to Facebook
Facebook has partnered with Bing to create their newest tool, The Graph Search. Not to be confused with a web search, the Graph Search is a way to access information about people and things that are already on Facebook.
So what is the Facebook Graph Search?
The search engine is designed to help Facebook members better navigate the vast amount of information on Facebook, which is not available on Web search engines such as Google.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the tool is aimed at “giving the people the power and tools to take any cut of the graph (of data) they want and make any query they want.” In saying that though the Graph Search will display results from Bing when unable to provide you with any results from your search.
Here is a video of Founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and other masterminds of Facebook explaining the design and engineering behind Graph Search
How does it work?
Want to find out people on Facebook who…
- Like Harry Potter?
- Live in Melbourne, Australia?
- Female friends with cats?
- Female friends, who own a cat, like Harry Potter and live in Melbourne, Australia
The Graph Search is designed to sort through Facebook and find this information for you (no matter how odd).
Graph Search is generally centered around finding four types of things: People, Photos, Places and Interests Facebook is relying on its wealth of social connections to give people the right results once they’ve entered a query. Results frontload the users people interact with most; after that, they’ll sort by mutual friends and total engagement — the idea is that users will get the information that’s both most popular and most relevant to them.
Facebook is also, to some extent, taking on reviews sites like Yelp with a new Places search. Some of the filters will allow users to look for specific categories like “Dentists in Melbourne” and find results that are liked by friends, along with addresses and phone numbers.
To give you a bit more of an idea of the functionality and design of Facebook’s Graph Search watch the video below
Will this impact Facebook Privacy?
Zuckerberg has reassured Facebook users of their privacy by saying, “We’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook. It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.”
Facebook has also uploaded a short tutorial explaining the ways in which users can control their Facebook privacy by applying the following settings. The video can be found via this link.
When will the Graph Search be available?
Graph Search will be rolling out “very slowly,” starting on the 15th of January 2013 with a limited beta for English-speaking users; you can join the wait list sign up for the waitlist at the link here. For now, it’s web-only and includes a limited subset of actions, with no Open Graph actions or Posts available, though they’ll arrive in the coming months along with more languages and mobile access.
So what do you think of Facebook’s new Graph Search?