By Janette Speyer and Katrina McNeill
On Tuesday Facebook announced another big change, but perhaps, for once, we are actually pleased with it! Upon exploration of this new feature, we are quite pleased with it and ready to share how it can benefit all Facebook users.
What is it?
Graph Search is a new way to filter your search on Facebook. The previous search tool was not perceived so well, but Graph Search seems to finally offer businesses and social users alike, a real resource.
How can we benefit?
For the social user: It’s finally possible to filter down your search on Facebook! Your search is no longer going to simply produce people or page results. With Graph Search, you can really get specific and rummage through your various friendships, photos, page likes and more. You will be able to search through everything you’ve ever done on Facebook, as well as everything your friends have ever done on Facebook (well, that’s public).
For businesses: Not only are you now going to be in more targeted search results, but Graph Search offers true behavior targeting for your customers. Much like any other user, before Graph Search you could only search for timelines, friends’ pages, other users’ public pages and business or product pages. For local businesses, the real benefit in this search tool will come when it goes mobile. Think of all that “interest” data Facebook holds, compound that with being able to target their location, marketers are going to have a field day! This is expected in the next batch of updates Facebook will make to Graph Search.
How is it actually used?
Facebook new search tool uses “natural language” processing, meaning you just need to search for what you want using “natural language.” If you search “pictures of Kerala in India,” or “bars in San Francisco that my friends like,” these filtered results will be specific and probably very entertaining.
This new tool isn’t all about Facebook trying to enter the search arena. With a lack of significant growth in the average number of friends per user recently, this search feature may help users find more people to network with and is an attempt from Facebook to keep their platform more active.
Some extra tid-bits
- Facebook has a partnership with Bing, so any results that somehow can’t be found with Graph Search will be pulled from Bing.
- Graph Search is supposedly privacy aware. Most content is not public and you can only search for content that has been shared with you.
Want to try?
Alas, Graph Search is technically in beta. Facebook has created a waiting list for Graph Search. Go sign up so you can be one of the first to try! Go to “Join the Waiting List” on the bottom of this page and sign up. We will certainly be continuing this conversation on our social networks, go to your network of choice and contribute to the conversation; Facebook, Twitter or Google+.
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