Facebook Graph Search Released
Posted: April 15, 2013 by Alex Chan
In January, 2013 Facebook released their new Facebook Graph search. Up until recently, Graph Search was a beta product that only limited users were able to access. Users could sign up and join the waiting list and a few active users were selected for the trial. If you signed up, by now you should see the public version of "Graph Search".
When designing Graph Search, the designers at Facebook were opting for one thing – improving the internal search system. The program recently became available for some user worldwide. The Facebook Graph allows users to search the social pages only in four areas – people, places, photos and interests. It basically works like any other search engine such Google or Bing, however it focuses on more internal information concerning Facebook data. While that may not sound like much, this search could potentially change the game for how we search for information online.
It all starts with special algorithm based on the user's content and the contents of his or her friends, or friends' friends and so on. The algorithm processes Facebook's information on their accounts like photos, general info, as well as likes, comments, tags, check-ins etc. In one word, everything. We've all become a statistic.
So, how does it work? Very easy. First, what you need to understand is that this is not a general search engine like Google. It just works like it, but you use Google to look up stuff you don't know; you use Facebook Graph well, for other things. It is developed to enable users make friends more easily and more quickly, by joining people throughout the social pages who think, act, and just are alike. Instead of spending hours on Facebook trying to find people who may like the same stuff as you, the Graph Search provides you with the same results in just a few seconds. The results from the search usually place your closest friends first on the list and continue further down with friends of friends and so on. The next time you try to find a person on Facebook who likes "Skiing" or "Snowboard", "went to Cuba" or "loves his golden retriever", Graph Search will have all that information, and more. In a sense, you could say Google is where we search for information, and Graph Search is for searching for people, places, activities, restaurants, games, photos, and more – all in "real time". Why real time? Well, social media is about what's happening right now. Who's playing Call of Duty? I want to join in.
However, the Graph Search may have a down side as well. People believe that Facebook Graph can easily digress from a beneficial internal search engine into the ultimate stalking tool for users on the Internet. The general public is showing some concerns about how this new tool will affect people's privacies. "Pokes" and "likes" are fun, but what happens when they start coming from strangers who happen to be interested in the same activities. Be warned, and keep an eye out for an update to their privacy settings for Graph Search in the future.