Iris Classon
Iris Classon - In Love with Code

Stupid Question 128: What is the new graph search on Facebook- YaY or NaY?

[To celebrate my first year of programming I will ask a ‘stupid’ questions daily on my blog for a year, to make sure I learn at least 365 new things during my second year as a developer]

Facebook graph search

On Tuesday the big news came. The Facebook graph searchwas unveiled. After collecting data from us user for nearly a decade there is bound to be some information to search. There is a couple of videos, and one of them nearly had me spit out my morning coffee. It was a video, that with ambient and spiritual music in the background, told me how this was going to solve one problem after another. I got that TV-commercial feeling and turned it of after a few minutes wiping of the coffee from my keyboard.

What is the Graph Search?
It let’s users search- but within their social network. You are basically searching the ‘likes’ of others (pictures and check-ins). For now status updates wont be searchable. Friends of friends and so on are included in the search.

Where will it be?
Facebook search will as a modified search on top of your Facebook page

Facebook graph search

Facebook graph search

YaY or NaY?
To gather in one place searches that before have been done on sites such as Yelp, Foursquare and so on.
Give users a personal valid results only search - in contrast to Google.
I somehow doubt that they they might, with the current search they are advertising, succeed with those big ambitions. I think the search fits in nicely with the rest of the Facebook functions, but I’m actually not quite sure how effective the ‘likes’ of others would be for recommending - for example (as shown in their video) a dentist or shoeshop. The searching for friends of friends with common interests sounds for me like a turning-facebook-into-a-dating-site-warning, which seems like more likely usage than finding a dentist.

Search: Likes Zumba and lives near me

As for the big news
I’m not sure if anybody was really surprised when the news about the Facebook Graph was unveiled, I somehow already though you could do this anyway. So for me, it was not big news, just news. I signed up for the beta, I always do that, but I’m not quite sure what I’ll use the thing for. Somehow they added something that should have been there in the first place, and I think most people will be surprised that this couldn’t be done before.

The making of the money
Except for the normal make-something-new-so-people-know-we-are-alive PR stunt, there is some money making involved. After a user does a search Facebook will of course be kind enough to help you connect you to the supplier. The connecting of the dots will have a pricetag, for the supplier. The search will also help (even more than before) companies feel forced to have presence on Facebook- so they don’t lose out on this money-making opportunity.

Facebook Graph Search and Microsoft’s Bing
As an investor in Facebook (yes Microsoft is) the question is what the deal is with the search and Bing. Somehow it seems likely that Bing results will be shown as optional results, but I haven’t been able to find anything that would confirm that. We will simply have to wait and see.

YaY or NaY

Personally - I would actually say NaY, I’ll play around with the function, but I can’t see myself using it. For two reasons, I don’t use Facebook that much - I’m a bit over it (was never really that ‘into it anyway) and I simply would not rely on the likes of my friends to choose where to eat, shop or a dentist.

What do you think? YaY or NaY to Facebook Graph Search?


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Last modified on 2013-01-16