What is this Facebook “Graph Search” we keep hearing about? What does it mean for my personal Facebook profile? What does it mean for my clients’ Facebook pages?
Let’s start from the beginning. On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg invited a select group of people from around the world to attend the announcement at Facebook’s headquarters. Zuckerberg simply said, “Come and see what we’re building,” and to the standing-room-only crowd, he presented Facebook’s new search tool: Graph Search.
What is Graph Search? Facebook’s Graph Search enables users to search for information among their Facebook friends’ info that has been previously shared with them. The areas the search focuses on include photos, places, people and interests. Zuckerberg said that there are three ways to gain knowledge about users on Facebook: First is the News Feed, showing updates from people and interests; second is timeline, the personal profiles of everyone on Facebook; and third, Graph Search is where we find out information via search.
How do I use it? Graph Search is fairly easy to use. This tool utilizes and searches for places and ‘likes’ on your friends’ Facebook pages. Facebook then filters this information into your search and voila, you’re set! From simple searches to extremely complex, Graph Search offers information to its users they never knew they had access to. Below are some examples of how to use Graph Search for the four main areas – photos, places, people and interests:
- Searching photos: “Photos of my friends taken in Boston, MA.”
- Searching places: “Bars in Paris that my friends have been to.”
- Searching people: “Friends of friends who are single in Nashville, TN.”
- Searching interests: “Music my friends like who live in Minneapolis who attended Boston University.”
What does this mean for my privacy? For starters, Facebook will not share anything that was not previously shared within your different circles. If you are concerned about your privacy settings, go to the top right hand corner on the website, review your settings, and decide what you feel is appropriate that you share with viewers. This tool is not meant to be invasive and delve into your private life. If you want something private and shared with only a select few, you still have that option.
How can this benefit my clients? A while ago Facebook changed its algorithms so that the ‘likes’ on a Facebook page were essentially useless. The new Facebook Graph Search will not only provide helpful information, but the ‘likes’ will become relevant again due to Graph Search. It will factor into user searches, thereby creating a huge advantage for your client’s page. Graph Search goes off of what has the most ‘likes’ and ‘check-ins’ amongst the community; therefore, the more ‘likes’ and ‘check-ins’ you have, the more exposure you will receive. Efforts to grow your page will be benefit by pushing users to ‘check-in’ at the location. With these ‘likes’ and ‘check-ins’ you can be sure to see an increase in page popularity and overall exposure.
My thoughts: Yes, people will grumble and gripe about Graph Search and say that it is “too invasive.” However, the new tool does not go against what you’re already willing to share on your Facebook page. If you don’t want users to see where you’ve been or what you’re doing, simply update your privacy settings to accommodate what you are willing to share. Graph Search only has the ability to expand brands and connect individuals. Our world is constantly evolving – even more so now with technology – and our deeper, online connections with one another is inevitable.
To watch Facebook’s short informational video click this link: http://on.fb.me/XeFyGx