In case you have no idea what this is regarding, Facebook unveiled this feature, Graph Search, last week. Graph Search is a search engine built into the social network that allows you to search for information about your friends or public information Facebook users share. For example, you can search, “My friends who like football and HBO,” and the search results will be displayed. From the get-go, this feature has seemed like a beneficial tool for brands and marketers.
I’ve played around with it a little bit and have really enjoyed some of the features, like being able to look through a plethora of photos of a specific group of my friends and seeing photos that I’ve liked. So basically, I like it because of the opportunity to travel down memory lane. I have a feeling I’ll only really like this feature of Facebook when I need information right away – like when I’m stranded in a city and need to find out if any of my Facebook friends live there or if I’m looking for a place to eat in an unfamiliar area.
The key to Graph Search, I think, is users are going to have to start sharing a lot more information than they do for this to be really effective, which is where Graph Search turns sketchy. People already feel relatively uneasy about Facebook’s privacy settings, and now users can search for a lot more specific information about them. Graph Search only brings up what people choose to share. While this data was always available, it wasn’t always this easy to find. This is actually a blessing – now is the perfect opportunity to go through and filter what you do and do not want to share with the world of Facebook.
I do like the idea of a more personalized search engine. Differences between this search engine and Google are the lack of immediate call-to-action items. For example, if I search “Sports Authority” on Google, I’m immediately shown an address, a phone number and a map. Facebook’s results are more geared toward liking the corporate page, which, even if I click on it, doesn’t bring me the immediate, local information I may have been looking for.
Graph Search ultimately doesn't take away from the Facebook experience -- it only adds a little convenience for when you're searching for information. It has a lot of potential and I’m looking forward to seeing how companies utilize it to increase their brand awareness!