Facebook Graph Search to Change the Way We Search Facebook
By Brandy Cross
Everyone complains about Facebook updates, but with the implementation of the new Facebook Graph search, some users might get a change that they actually like. Facebook has recently upgraded its messaging system to allow users to send actual emails, and to better integrate images into the system, but the newest update is one to the Facebook search bar. Many people are already claiming that Facebook is ‘trying to take on Google’, but that’s not really what they’re trying to do. The new Facebook search is all about social including finding your favorite friends, locations, photos, or even finding what your friends listen to or love. Facebook search has been criticized in the past for being limited and ineffective, but the new Graph search could change all of that.
How Facebook Graph Search Works
The Facebook Graph Search has not yet been implemented and in fact, hasn’t yet been released as a beta. When it is released, it will include an intuitive way to search your friends, family, and social contacts to find exactly what you’re looking for. Mark Zuckerburg says that the Facebook search will be able to tell you what bands your friends listen to, what coffee shops they go to, which of your co-workers like skiing, and pretty much anything else you would like to ask it.
Some example searches provided by Facebook include:
· People who like tennis and live nearby
· Photos before 1990
· Photos of my friends in New York
· Sushi restaurants in Palo Alto my friends have liked
· Tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends
Facebook search includes the ability to search for people, photos, places and interests. Importantly, Facebook graph search limits you to viewing content that has been shared with you, so you won’t be able to search for photos of your ex. Facebook also warns that you should visit your activity log to ensure that your privacy settings are where you want them before the graph search is implemented.
Is Facebook Desperate for Money?
While it doesn’t make sense that the new Facebook search is meant to take on Google, it does make sense that Facebook is trying to make a little extra cash. For example, a recent addition to Facebook’s policy now includes that it costs $100 to send Mark Zuckerburg a message, while this could be a plea to reduce spam, it also could be interpreted as desperation for money. The recent ‘Fraley vs. Facebook’ lawsuit will strip Facebook of $20 million in revenue due to concerns over the previous ‘sponsored stories’ feature where users personal photos were used in advertisements to friends without being asked. Originally the case was to grant as much as $750 to each victim, but a newer version of the ruling grants $10 to each victim. If more than 20 million people apply for the money, the full $20 million will be given to charity in accordance with the cy-pres document. The Facebook Graph search could certainly increase the company’s revenue, especially if they charge local businesses and stores for top spots in search returns, especially on items such as ‘a coffee shop my friends frequent’, or similar.
Editing Your Privacy Settings for Facebook Graph Search
If you do not want to appear in graph search for anyone but your friends, you have to edit who can view what data. In fact, Facebook actually allows you to turn various elements of your profile into completely private items. For example, you can make it so that your city, your education, your photos, specific status’, your birthdate, or etc. are only visible to you. For example, let’s say you don’t want anyone to know when you were born, you could access your ‘About Me’ and edit the profile, change the privacy setting to ‘Just me’. If you have a photo of you and your loved one that you want to upload, you can do so, and change the privacy setting to ‘custom’, where you can exclude everyone but you and that person. This ensures that your personal data and privacy are safe.
Facebook Graph search looks like it will be an excellent tool for finding just about anything you like, whenever you want. Being able to locate people in your friends list who like a certain band is a great way to find someone to go to a concert with you, or finding a sushi bar your friends frequent is a great way to find a new place to eat. From the looks of things, Facebook Graph search will be easy, intuitive, and you’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without it.