What Is Facebook Graph Search?

Facebook has dropped the bomb. Their newest product is very likely to make them cool – Again.

Introducing Facebook Graph Search.

At the much hyped press event at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Facebook introduced the new Graph Search – basically a social search engine – very unlike Google. Factors that make Graph Search different from Google Search are –

  • Graph Search is social search NOT web search.
  • Graph Search is privacy aware unlike Google search because it would not throw up private information in its results.
  • Graph Search knows the interests and likes of every seventh person on the planet, has access to 240 billion photos and knows over 1 trillion connections between 1 billion plus people.
  • Graph search allows you to search for – people, places, photos and interest of people who matter to you, which means your friends, or people living in your city.
  • Graph search is your very own personal search engine, with emphasis on the word personal.

Now what makes Graph search Insta-cool (pun intended) is the fact that it will be able to engage the billion plus users even further, here are some examples of how Graph search will eat more of your precious time and at the same time be able to deliver some really important information to you –

Using Graph search you can type a query like –

My female friends and their friends who like Star Wars and pizza.

This search will throw up a list of females who like the movie Star Wars and pizza from your friend list as well as your friends’ friend lists. What that means is you can accordingly plan on asking one of those females out for watching the next Star Wars movie with you and order her favorite pizzas to set the ball rolling. Now that is cool.

Let’s say you are visiting a new city and want to know the restaurants that most of your friends in that city like to visit, or perhaps you might also want to know the most popular restaurant that serves Sushi their, you can search for –

Sushi serving restaurants that my friends visited in Hyderabad.

or simply

Sushi serving restaurants in Hyderabad.

The search results would throw up a list of restaurants based on your specifications in the search query, now this is way cooler than doing a web search for the same, because even though web search would likely throw up more results, Graph search would throw up results you are likely to trust, as in this case if a friend has visited restaurant X you have a personal connect and know that the restaurant must be serving some good Sushi if your friends visit it.

Facebook Graph search is still in beta phase and lot of media outlets are claiming it has the potential to dethrone Google, which is a laughable claim because as of now the Graph search is nothing more than a personalized social search tool and will not be challenging Google because even though both these search engines are catering to the same audience their search criteria serve widely different purposes. Google knows all, whereas Facebook knows you and knows everything you know, there is a fundamental difference in search here, only if you can notice. We believe both Google and Facebook’s search engines can co-exit and continue to do well in the future.

Apart from these features Facebook have decided to enhance their search results and extend their on-going search relationship with Microsoft’s Bing. What is interesting is that Zuck has revealed the fact that they had approached Google and were not impressed with Google’s commitment levels relative to the two tech giant’s bonding over the search space. And that is where Microsoft stepped in and offered their expertise. An interesting point which we are sure the international tech media will aptly cover in the near future.

Returning to Graph search, as explained before it will give you access to the personal information and behavioral patterns exhibited relative to people and places that are on facebook.com. However the Graph search will not be immediately available and will only be rolled out by facebook in the coming months. A beta version however has been made available to a limited number of users for the moment so that the company can learn and improve on the product before rolling out the full version to its 1 billion plus customers.

You can request to join the Facebook Graph search functionality here.

Here is ABC News covering the Graph Search as it happened.

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