Facebook’s Big Announcement: Graph Search

On Tuesday, Facebook introduced Graph Search to the world. In their words, Graph Search allows users to, “Find more of what you’re looking for through your friends and connections.”

Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page. When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page. You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.

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Facebook says that the first version of Graph Search will focuses on four areas – people, photos, places, and interests.

People: “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like tennis and live nearby”

Photos: “photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in New York,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”

Places: “restaurants in San Francisco,” “cities visited by my family,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “restaurants in New York liked by chefs,” “countries my friends have visited”

Interests: “music my friends like,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “languages my friends speak,” “strategy games played by friends of my friends,” “movies liked by people who are film directors,” “books read by CEOs”

Facebook Privacy

As with every Facebook announcement, many are concerned about how Graph Search will affect their privacy. The best way to protect your private information on Facebook is to not share anything you don’t want to be made public. If you do share something personal, make sure that it is only made visible to your friends, and is not a public post. For tips on how to adjust these settings you can read my post about Facebook privacy updates and tips.

Graph Search is currently available in a very limited beta program. You can sign up here to be the first to hear when you can start using the new tool.

Suggested Reading/Viewing:

Mark Zuckerberg explains the design and engineering behind the Graph Search: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200156550214780

Venture Beat discusses Facebook privacy: http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/16/facebook-graph-search-privacy/

How privacy works with Graph Search: https://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch/privacy

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