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Facebook Graph Search overview

Facebook are launching a limited (to people who use FB in US English) beta release of Graph Search which lets people search for stuff using their friends as a filter. As well as finding news pages to like and engage with, you can find new people (or rediscover existing connections) based on shared interests and/or locations. Using People, Photos, Places and Interests as the core search areas, you can search for things like:

  • People who like things I like
  • Bands my friends listen to
  • Friends that like cycling

With regards to privacy you won’t be able to suddenly view content you couldn’t before; Graph Search simply makes existing content easier to find and segment.

Should you care?

From a personal point of view yes. It will be cool to find content you’ve forgotten about, and reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with through this new search functionality. In my opinion Facebook will become a warmer place, and as others have commented, it could be amazing for dating purposes.

From a business point of view, I’m not sure. Socially influenced search results have been a hot topic for a few years now, and this move from FB should make it more important than ever that any Facebook activity you’re doing actually works and resonates with an audience. That said, there is no suggestion yet for how Graph Search will impact Facebook Pages.

Watch this space, and join the waiting list here

This post was filed under Social media. Join the conversation - leave a comment.

2 Comments

  1. As a former journalist and then PR, I’m fascinated by how journalists will use Graph Search. Facebook describes the function as Rolodex of 1 billion potential sources. Now that’s interesting.

    For brand owners that is also potentially scary stuff. If we know that bad news sells, it’s worth thinking about the sort of stories hacks might use Graph Search for.

    - Tracking down disgruntled employees en masse and in any given location
    - Compiling a compendium of bad news stories at a given location – a fast food restaurant, station, tourist attraction, etc, etc
    - Photos of key business figures in the wrong place – CEO of Burger King at a McD’s
    - Employees doing embarrassing things in their photos – midwives’ out on town night before a serious problem on the ward

    There are restrictions on journalists ripping pictures from Facebook or any social site and printing them – ie they need the owners’ permission. But where a brand is being maligned by a disgruntled customer that isn’t likely to be a problem.

    I for one find this potential new source of embarrassment / crises fascinating. I wonder how brands will cope and who will be the first to flounder. Shout if you want to discuss.

    Posted 17th January 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Ross, Belinda -
    It seems someone has already approached Graph Search with mischief in mind.
    What happens when you search (topically) for “Employees of Tesco who like horses” or “People who like English Defence League and curry”?
    http://actualfacebookgraphsearches.tumblr.com/

    Posted 23rd January 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

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