Facebook Graph Search – Just Another Search Tool, or the Coolest Thing Ever?

Facebook: love it, or hate it? More than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections… how do you find what you need on this behemoth of a social site, and how can you ensure that your potential customers and fans find you?

The social giant is rolling out what they’re calling Graph Search, currently in Beta. They’re calling it “a new way to navigate connections and make them more useful.” They go on to explain, “When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections. Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.”

Anything that can make FB more useful sounds good to me! Let’s take a closer look at the whole concept of Graph Search. For starters, Graph Search will be very different than regular web search. Instead of just searching with a simple keyword, users will put in something that goes beyond even a long-tailed keyword or phrase, such as, “my friends in California who like hip-hop.” This will allow the searcher to find everyone in their network who fit this criteria, based on profiles, photos, or any other content that’s been shared on FB.

This offers intriguing possibilities for businesses who have built large networks of fans on this site, with the opportunity to sift through the vast amounts of information that these fans and their friends have shared on the social network.

Although the announcement of Graph Search has raised privacy concerns, and sent FB’s stock down around 3%, the company claims there is no basis for this concern. Searchers will not be able to access anything outside of their networks; it will simply provide a way to find the specific info they need within that network.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls the new program “one of the coolest things we’ve done in a while… a completely new way for people to get information on Facebook.”

Graph Search is being rolled out slowly, and could take as long as a year before it’s available to all FB users worldwide.

Check out Facebook’s video about Graph Search here: http://newsroom.fb.com/News/562/Introducing-Graph-Search-Beta

What do you think about Graph Search? Can you imagine any possible business applications for it? Leave me a comment and let me know your ideas, let’s do some brainstorming together about this new feature—it could be quite a powerful business marketing tool!

As Graph Search moves into greater use, we’ll take another look at it to give you some ideas as to how this feature can benefit your business. Until then, if you need any help with social media marketing, on Facebook or any other site, why not give us a call here at Findability Speaking and Consulting? Hope to chat with you soon!

Warm Regards,
Heather Lutze
Author, Internet Marketing Speaker, Trainer and Consultant