Facebook Graph Search: The New Google for Your Social Life?
By Gilda Galang | January 17, 2013 3:36 PM EST
Searching for your friends' favorite restaurants or your embarrassing photos from those awkward years is now possible, thanks to Facebook's new graph search.
Before you cry, "Privacy breach!" NBC reported that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg assures users that graph search will not violate privacy rules. So your result searches will be limited to content shared with you. But with the search tool now made more comprehensive in Facebook, is it going to replace the often resorted-to Google?
Graph vs. keywords
According to The New York Times, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that graph search allows users to dig up photos, places, people, and things that interest them-so long as their friends have also liked or shared them.
Instead of keywords like rival Google, Sydney Morning Herald reports that graph search mimics how people talk on Facebook. So the more people use it, the more graph search will be modified to fit users' search patterns.
One step higher: Searching the web
So does this mean you can search for general information on a celebrity's diet regimens? Chances are, no, unless a friend is insanely interested about sharing it in Facebook. For the moment, graph search is limited to your social circle's interests, photos, and places.
But Facebook has a potential solution to keep it one step ahead of Google. CNN reports that when a user searches for something that is not within graph search's domain, it will connect you to the Bing search engine instead.
The reason? It makes the user experience all the more comprehensive. According to Talking Points Memo (TPM), the best part is that users will not only see what their friend's interests and likes, but can also learn more about these said things.
"Imagine searching for Jay-Z concerts on Facebook, and not only finding Facebook content, but also web results from Bing including concert tickets, news about the tour and other web results-annotated with Facebook Likes and Shares. We think this is a powerful combination," said Microsoft's Bing Team to TPM.
The rise of the "Unlike "
For those who have liked everything they come across on the News Feed, or have posted awkward photos on a drunken dare, the graph search may pave the way towards the rise of the Unlike and Un-tag.
Worry not. Right now, graph search is only accessible to a portion of Facebook's users, and will still be on beta mode until the Facebook team refines the idea onto a more solid and working ground.
But if you or your friends tend to over-share, get ready to have a lot of useful and questionable information about your social circle in your hands.
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