Tuesday morning, Mark Zuckerberg announced the upcoming release of Facebook’s newest feature, Graph Search; the new way to search on Facebook. Graph Search is designed to help Facebook users completely customize their searches. Type in any search query you want and Facebook will search not only friends in your network, but throughout Facebook. Some examples of searches might be; people who enjoy golf near Springfield, IL, pictures of San Francisco in the 1980s, or restaurants my friends in Rochester like.
Naturally, with any new Facebook feature, the issue of privacy comes up. The search results that come up do comply with users’ personal privacy settings. You will only see the information shared with you and other users will only see the information you share with them. So, if your settings are set to public, your information may come up in other users’ search results even if you are not friends. However, if your information is set to “Friends Only,” it will only show up in the search results of your friends. Because of this, unlike Google, it is possible that two people who type in the same search query may end up with different results.
Facebook is striving to become the go to place for anything you are looking for on the web. With Graph Search, they are making search into a more social experience. They are taking all the services you use outside of Facebook, like restaurant reviews, hotel recommendations, even dating services, and integrating them into their social network. It will undoubtedly affect the nature of Facebook app design in addition to Facebook application development. This opens up a breadth of opportunities for businesses with Facebook pages and custom Facebook application development.
Graph Search is currently in beta and will be slowly rolling out to more users. To take a closer look at Graph Search and to get on the waiting list for the new feature, visit facebook.com/about/graphsearch.