Facebook just announced their latest feature, the Graph Search. It is only available in Beta testing and when I tried to sign up to test it I was added to a wait list. Sites such as Social Media Examiner and AdAge are talking about this new feature as an important step by Facebook toward going head-to-head against Google search. Additionally, the feature fills in the gap of social marketing for brands. Since this is should prove an important new product in the social media marketing mix, I wanted to introduce it to the NALA Membership.
What it is: The Graph Search helps users connect to people and places with interests and preferences users already enter into Facebook. Lets say you begin Graph Search by searching for “Thai food.” You will get search of “People who like Thai Food,” “My Friends who like Thai Food,” “Photos of Thai Food,” Interest pages for Thai Food or perhaps local Thai food restaurants. From there you can navigate to deeper levels to find people or pages you want.
You can also use Facebook to search for what you want. I am a bit obsessed with Thai food at the moment as you may have noticed, so let’s start with that. When I choose local Thai Food restaurants, Thai restaurants in my area appear with directions, a link to the website, and a list of friends who have been there. The listing looks similar to a Yelp page. Businesses are sorted based on the number of likes each local business has. Suddenly a “Like” is much more important that before.
Fortunately, your privacy settings will determine what is searchable from your list. The new feature will enable you to look up anything shared with you personally and anything shared that is listed as “Public.”
We will be talking about this more in the coming weeks and months as Facebook rolls it to to the public. In the meantime you can watch some videos on the new technology on Facebook’s Introducing Graph Search page where you can also join the Waiting List to try it out.