Facebook has just launched what Mark Zuckerberg has christened “the third pillar” of the Facebook experience – the Graph Search. Is this Facebook’s answer to Google’s Knowledge Graph? The Graph Search is still in the Beta phase but it is a tool that helps navigate the Facebook Graph. The Facebook Graph is the name given to the tools that allow people to map their relationships with other Facebook users and their interests. As Facebook has over a billion users, this is a huge addition to Facebook. Along with the News Feed and the Facebook Timeline, the Graph Search will help define user experience with Facebook.
What is Graph Search?
Graph Search is the inevitable result of the direction that social media is headed in. It is the point where social media and search engines meet. However, the Graph Search does not trawl the Internet like Bing or Google but returns search results from within Facebook. It is not a traditional web search engine and returns answers to queries about photos, interests, people and other Facebook features. So if you conduct a search on people living in New York, you will get a list of your friends in that city and also other Facebook users who live in New York and have similar interest as yours. Similarly, you can look for photos related to a theme or those liked by a user by typing it in the search field.
So will the Graph Search cause another backlash from users as it does not obey privacy settings set by them? This is not the case – Facebook assures that Graph Search will not display information that is set as private. Only public information will show up in the Graph Search search results page.
Why did Facebook launch the Graph Search?
It is quite obvious that Facebook will use the Graph Search as a revenue stream. Advertisers will be all over a feature that lets Facebook users find content based on their interests. Experts believe that although Graph Search will be an ad free feature in the beginning, it will be used later on as a targeted advertisement tool.