At Facebook HQ today, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new and improved search engine tool “Graph Search” for Facebook. This tool allows you to search for particular information within your social graphs.
The main goal of Graph Search is to return an answer, not list a bunch of links in the form of a web search. In the initial version of Graph Search there will be four main areas of focus: People, Photo, Places and Interests. Bing has teamed up with Facebook to make Graph Search a unique and useful tool.
The improvements to the search engine will optimize the way we search for information on Facebook. If you are in Chicago and want to find friends who live in the area to make plans, you can ask a question such as “Which of my friends live in Chicago?” It will then pull up your friends listed in the area. The search engine tool is also able to rank your friends based on the interaction you have had with them, so the more interaction you have with your friends, the higher they will rank.
You are also able to search for things that your friends like. For example, you can search “My friends who like Smash and The Bachelor” to pull up a list of friends who have similar interests. It works the same way for the people search (which definitely will come in handy the next time you meet a really cute guy at Stacy’s party but cannot remember his last name). All you would do is search “People named Joe who are friends with Stacy”.
If you are thinking of trying out a new restaurant, you are able to view everyone who has been to that restaurant. However, it would even better if you could also rank the quality of your experience – like you can on Yelp. This way if a friend on Facebook can’t decide between two places to go, they can just check out the ranking as well on Facebook. Maybe this feature is coming in the future?
This update will most likely be a more resourceful tool for marketers than everyday users because; it will make it easier to find out the likes and interests of their target audience. This can then help make advertisements appear more personal and targeted toward the fans. On the upside for everyday users, it will make “Facebook stalking” much easier.
After testing out Graph Search I’ve noticed that the update is much more direct and saves time as opposed to the old search on Facebook. Want to try it for yourself? The Graph Search Beta is currently limited but you can join the wait list to be one of the first users to test it out.
What do you think about the new Graph Search? Is it a helpful, useful tool for Facebook users and marketers alike?