Just got a chance to see the Facebook graph search, the advance search facility which is currently in limited beta mode ( As on 19th April 2013 ) and available to the people who want to try it. One more thing to add is that users must be using English(U.S) as their default language at Facebook. Facebook has over a billion users and search is the best business that Facebook can do on the web. We have seen that Google is the top most website in the world only because it has got the best search facility. Facebook might be trying various things in Graph Search and as we know that Facebook has adopted an aggressive business policy these days , so Facebook graph search can be a part of this only. In this article we will try to find out what actually Facebook graph search is all about and how it will help users ?
What is Facebook Graph Search ?
Facebook is using open graph technology , mark up , schema etc. on its own website/webpages and also allows other webpages/applications to interact with Facebook and its data. Facebook like buttons, commenting system and all other plugin/features use this technology only. The Open Graph search is also using this technology but will be much more advanced. The reason that Facebook is trying open graph with English (U.S) is that language will matter the most in this Open Graph Search because this search function-ability will try to understand what the user is saying.
Yes, as specified in the para above, Open Graph search will try to understand what you have typed and so will show the results. Earlier the search feature has been using the typed word or combination of words to match with its data. But with Open Graph search Facebook will try to understand the meaning of the typed words and will show few set of results that might closely. Users can go for the set they believe the most requested and see the results , for example just imagine that you have searched for “Restaurants in London” . the Graph search will show set of results as shown in the image below.
Now when we select any of the available sets , the results are displayed offering relevant information and filters to refine the search as show in the image below.
So now you must have understood that the Facebook Graph search will be a big and interesting change. Below are few intelligent searches you can do with the Graph Search.
- Cities I have been to to displays cities you have been to.
- Cities my friends have been to to find out where your friends have been.
- Restaurant that my friends have been to.
- People who like India
And many such other searches.
On trying a search Facebook will check with its data and pre set combinations that will execute the queries to check with structured data and to find out publicly shared stuff.
How about privacy ?
Facebook Graph Search will only display publicly shared information . For example your friend has been to a restaurant but has not publicly shared the information , so if you are going to try the search for “Restaurant that my friends have been to.” that specific result will not appear.
What Facebook is getting at with Graph Search ?
Facebook is trying to make its search facility better and offer great experience to users. Graph Search will be one of the finest features that Facebook has offered in recent time. When it comes to someone searching something , in many cases may end up someone selling something , so Facebook now a listed public company will surely try to monetize all this.