8 Things You Should Know About Facebook Graph Search

On Tuesday morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that “Graph Search” is coming to the site. Here’s what you need to know…

graph search

1. Graph Search Will Make It Easier To Find Information.

Graph Search lets you search through your friends’ photos, page likes, interests, check-ins, and activities. For instance, you might type in “Friends who like biking” to get a list of everyone who has marked that as a hobby on their profiles. Or you might type in “Pictures of friends in Germany” to see who has been to the country on vacation. Need a recommendation? Just type in a search query like “TV shows my friends like.”

2. Facebook Is Becoming More Competitive.

Much like the online dating sites, you can now search something like “friends of friends who are single and like indie rock music.” Like LinkedIn, you can search for “friends of friends who work at Goldman Sachs.” Like Yelp, you can search for “Sushi restaurants in NYC that friends have visited.” You can think of this new feature as “Google — for your personal Facebook friends.”

3.There Are Ways To Improve A Business Ranking In Graph Search.

The more “likes” you have, the more people can search your information. You’ll have a greater reach for friends of friends too, which is neat. You’ll want to make sure all the info on your profile page is filled out accurately and in the proper fields — with organic, but search-friendly, keywords. You’ll want all photos tagged with locations and searchable terms.

4. Don’t Be Surprised If People Start Un-Liking Your Business.

One of the problems with this new search strategy is that people’s interests and activities will be under greater scrutiny from their peer groups. They may have clicked “like” on a household cleaner brand to enter a contest or “liked” One Tree Hill in high school and found that these interests do not really define who they are.

5. Privacy Will Still Be Respected.

There is no way to opt-out of this change entirely, but Graph Search will not come with any additional privacy options. You will simply display information with respect to your old privacy settings. Just to make sure you’re up to speed, you an click on “Profile” from your homepage and then click on “Activity Log” to change the visibility of all your Facebook activity.

6. Graph Search May Be Used Like Amazon Eventually.

“We could imagine a case where a Facebook user is searching for ‘friends who bought shoes in San Francisco.’ Then [Graph Search] would pull up a list of shoe stores with comments and reviews from friends,” Julien Blin, a consumer electronics analyst for Infonetics, told CNET. “The Facebook user would have the option to click on the Facebook ‘Want’ button to buy the items, or even gift the item to other users via Facebook Gifts. This type of service would compete directly with Amazon.”

7. There Are Some Things Graph Search Can’t Look Up.

Bad news: Graph Search will be unable to sort through Facebook wall posts. It will also be unable to look through song listens. Early Beta users had a few complaints. For instance, when one user searched “Restaurants liked by people who live in Palo Alto, CA,” the Facebook Culinary Team came back as a search result. Other users found the restaurant results were not so hip. Extremely specific search terms — like “running shoes liked by people who have run marathons” — do not return any results. Unfortunately, much past data will seem off-limits due to the fact we didn’t know enough to tag our old information. Without “About Me” / profile information or active “likes” and “check-ins,” a lot of data falls by the wayside. There is potential, but all the pieces aren’t there just yet.

8. For Now, We Have To Wait For Graph Search.

Early adopters can sign up for a beta invite here. Most people will have to sit on their hands and wait until Facebook officially rolls out the new capability. And yes, we can probably expect a little bit of sluggishness and a few quirks!

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Mandy McEwen

Hi, I'm Mandy McEwen, author of 8 Ways in 8 Days and founder of Mod Girl Marketing.

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