New Facebook Graph Search is Here. Six things to know about Zuck’s “3rd Pillar of Facebook”

Posted on January 16th, 2013 by True Media

The much hyped announcement on January 15 from Facebook was all about re-vamping its currently lackluster search feature. Facebook Graph Search is being touted by some as “its greatest innovation” and others as “taking aim and firing a direct shot at Google search” (hmmm…)
Here’s how it works –
1. It works with phrases, not words. As in “places my family likes to eat” and “movies my friends like.” It’s very dependent on likes.
2. It focuses on four major areas of search throughout the social network. They are people, photos, places and interests. These four subsets are aggregated into the feature and your search phrase will bring back results from these areas. Other areas of Facebook such as status posts, songs and music, etc. will also be rolled out.
3. It’s in Beta Beta. Meaning they are rolling it out very slowly, and actually will be reviewing feedback and how users interact with the feature in order to improve upon it.
4. The collaborative data is completely intertwined with your individual Facebook experience and interactions, whereas the current Facebook search is random and almost completely irrelevant to the user.
5. It creates exciting opportunities for brands to utilize Facebook search for increased awareness. Having a more robust search engine, combined with a paid media buy of sponsored results as well as a strategic and interesting organic Facebook page will make it easier for the right potential customer to find your business.
6. You can’t get it. Yet. But you can get on the waitlist here.
Mark Zuckerberg says, “This is the biggest thing we’ve worked on in quite a while.” Which is true. Since the relatively floppy IPO announcement Facebook has been pretty quiet. And while he says they aren’t trying to take on Google search (but I suspect this is on the horizon since the Bing integration of the current search is staying put) Zuckerberg considers this one of the most important pillars of the entire ecosystem; up there with the newsfeed, the timeline, and now graph search. Socialized search, in my opinion, still has a long way to go to catch Google, but the level of personalization and uniqueness it can bring is exciting. It may also bring into question the ever present privacy issue that Facebook has always had to navigate carefully. There’s no changes to the privacy policy slated any time soon, but here’s more information on how these two things will come together.