What is Facebook Graph Search?

By Emily A. Hay

Today’s blog was prepared for the Internet Advisors show on WJR 760AM and on the Michigan Radio Network. You can access podcasts from the media section of our site with content from Emily A. Hay, the show’s Social Media Contributor.

By now, you’ve probably heard about Facebook’s “big announcement:” The so-called graph search. But what is it? What can it do? How will it impact your life, your friends or your business?

The graph search, introduced by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, has been termed the social media giant’s search engine.  Think of it this way: Today, you might search for a coffee shop in your ZIP Code. And you might find one or two and maybe a Yelp review or some kind of feedback left on a local newspaper’s Web site. But with graph search, you’ll be able to search on Facebook using “real speak” terms like “coffee shops nearby where my friends went last week.”

Right now, these sorts of searches are the main focus of graph search.  But social media experts and marketers can’t help but look down the road at what graph search can mean for business owners – and their customers and potential customers.  If Google is the objective search option, Facebook’s graph search will be subjective and personal.

Since graph search is still in beta testing to a select audience, there is much speculation about how it will work and what it will mean for the billion users of Facebook.  This article from Forbes from the press conference announcing graph search is an excellent resource.

While no one really knows how this will play out, developments like graph search mean that a strong social media presence – particularly on Facebook – will be critical in ensuring that small businesses and large brands alike keep up with the evolving digital marketing space.

For most casual Facebook users, graph search will allow for searches about people, places and pictures; statuses and posts could be searchable at some point too. Concerned about privacy? Zuckerberg claims that graph search will only give you access to things people have already shared with you, according to the Forbes article.

While the exact capabilities and ramifications of graph search are still mostly unknown, Facebook has – once again – launched something new, innovative and unique to the social media sphere.  Stay tuned; there are sure to be exciting developments on graph search in the near future!

 

 

 

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