Today, I finally got a notification from Facebook that I could switch my Facebook Graph search on (you had to sign up/express your interest and wait for your turn. Though in the future, it’ll be enabled for all Facebook users whether you like it or not).
If you are wondering what Facebook Graph Search is, remember that Search area on the top of Facebook? You normally type in a name, for example, and Facebook will give you suggested results pretty much instantly. The new Facebook Graph Search takes that search to the next level, allowing you to search more naturally and do more powerful searches.
Once you turn the Graph Search on, your Facebook top bar will be replaced with the new Facebook Graph Search bar (and a minor annoyance of having your Friends-Messaging-Notification icons moved to the right side).
So what can you do with the new Facebook Graph Search? Well, you can search for people, or friends who X and Y and Z. For example, let’s say you have a family member asking you about a particular university in your area. Since you weren’t studying in that particular university before, you can easily do a Graph Search of “My friends who studied in University X” and ask for their help.
Or if you are feeling adventurous and want to try out new restaurants in town, you can search for friends who live in X and been to restaurant Y. You can also do this when you are in a new restaurant and don’t know what to order (you can search for friends who have taken a photo in that particular restaurant).
The possibilities are endless but obviously, this depends on your friends’ old status updates and how complete they update their current Facebook profile. You can also filter your search results such as limiting them to a certain age, etc.
Unfortunately, the Facebook Graph Search can be quite scary. Let’s say being so lonely and desperate, I can do a search like:
People who live in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and are younger than 20
and are single and are female
or perhaps an even more desperate measure that I can’t think of at the moment. In a way, it is your own responsibility of what you put on Facebook and you should be more aware that what you set on Facebook can be viewed by public if you aren’t careful.
The scary thing is that it now gets easier and easier to grab and consolidate these data. In good hands, Facebook Graph Search is indeed a really powerful tool but in the wrong hands, let’s just hope you are aware what you do and not do in Facebook.
What do you think of the new Facebook Graph Search? Yay or Nay?