Facebook Graph Search
Facebook are not only launching a new search engine, they are changing the way you search...
When I first heard today that facebook were launching a search engine (not sure if I've been living under a rock or if it actually is a really new idea to everyone) I wondered just what they would do different.
Afterall, there already is a search function within facebook and the only time I have used it is by accident and even then it didn't seem to bring up anything of use. If they plan on taking on the big guns, just how were they planning on doing it?
It didn't take much digging to understand why I'm not the one coming up with their ideas!
Watching this video taught me that I can use the facebook graph search to find friends who like certain activities or music:
Fair enough, but I wondered how this would be useful - either you are so popular that you have 500 facebook friends and simply can't remember what they like doing, OR the people you have as friends on facebook are just 'friends' because you have heard their name mentioned when your brother was talking to their sister's friend about their cat's nephew who swallowed an apple and you actually have no idea who they are or what they like doing. (I actually have had friend requests from people who fit this description exactly - except the bit about the apple, I made that up. It was actually a mango.)
There must be more to it that this, so let's go straight to the top. The big Zucker himself. [www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch] He places the Graph Search in the same basket as the Newsfeed and Timeline, calling it one of the pillars of facebook.
Yes it will tell you which of your friends like which activities, yes it will tell you which friends like which music but one thing that isn't obvious is that by default it does something that no other search engine could do (or certainly could not do to the same degree)...
When you use Facebook Graph Search, you will get completely unique set of results - that is, the results are ordered by relevance TO YOU - and not only that, but results are backed up by personal recommendation!
It's a proven fact that you are more likely to purchase a product or do something if someone you know recommends it.
With that in mind, you can search for both friends AND friends of friends with common interests, places they have been on holiday or business pages they like. This is the beginning, it's still in beta and it's only available to a limited US audience at the moment.
What is clear is that while it's a different way to search (i.e. instead of 'restaurants in Perth' you could search for 'restaurants in Perth that my friends like' or even 'friends who like to eat out in Perth'), the ability to receive results which are completely relevant and unique to you and backed up by your personal contacts is something that will become natural to us, and will give facebook the edge they need to take on the big search engines and succeed.
What's the first thing you would search for when searching in this way?