Facebook has announced a foray into the search realm, and it’s causing quite a frenzy on social media. You’re probably already familiar with Facebook’s current limited search functions, but the new feature, “Graph Search,” aims to revolutionize social searching on Facebook. How? By making everything in its database searchable.
Don’t get it twisted– Facebook doesn’t intend to be the next Google, but what it is trying to do is make its search features more social. Take for example how you normally conduct your searches now. If you’re looking for new music online, you would go to Google and enter in a search query of new music in your favorite genre, and the returned results would be the ones that are ranked highest (based on the ever-elusive Googly algorithms, of course). With Facebook’s new Graph Search, you can do the same search, but get results that are reflective of your own social network. That is, you’ll be able to find music that your friends are listening to. The results would be tailored to you, your network of friends and of whosever information is publicly available on Facebook. It’s a pretty neat concept, and offers many alluring possibilities for businesses using Facebook.
“Graph Search” further reinforces why it’s so important for businesses to be on social media. As we all know, people like to work with businesses that they know, like and trust. We rely heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations because they are so powerful in building a business’ reputation. Social media channels give ordinary people the power and opportunity to voice their satisfactory (or dissatisfactory) experiences about a business. On Facebook, a “like” of a page can now be the equivalent of a “thumbs-up” or an endorsement for the business. Imagine landing a client who, through “Graph Search”, found you because a friend in his network simply “likes” your page. Now that’s powerful.
For now, Facebook still has “Graph Search” in beta, and plans to gradually roll it out in the next several months. We have yet to see its capabilities, but for the time being, I’m optimistic about what it has in store.
What do you think of “Graph Search”?