We know it was coming, the social  networking giant Facebook unveiled a new feature called ‘Graph Search‘ that will change the way we search.  A new way to navigate through users relationships with the people and things they care about and to make them more useful. In other words a social search engine for users to find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to them on Facebook.

Facebook Intros Social 'Graph Search' Beta, takes on Google

With Facebook’s more than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections Graph Search will be offering the ultimate social search for users, the one thing Google is trailing behind. Facebook Graph search follows the users current privacy settings. They can only search for content that has been shared with them from friends.

Once Graph search been activated on your  account you will see a bigger search bar at the top of each page.  When you start to type, suggestions appear in a drop down. You can refine your search using the tools on the right-hand side of the page. The early beta version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas — people, photos, places, and interests.

Facebook Graph search options
Facebook Graph search options
  • People – here you can search people you wish to connect having similar interest. Some example search quires – “friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like cricket,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in Bangalore and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like tennis and live nearby”
  • Photos – Photos that you or your friends shared on Facebook , Some example search quires – “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 – it’s a local search for nearby places . Some example search quires – e“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 – Searching for people or friends having similar interest. Some example search quires – “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”

The BIG difference between Facebook Graph Search and Web Search

Facebook has explained in their own words how Graph Search and web search are different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Facebook’s Graph Search users combine phrases (for example: “my friends in NewDelhi who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook. Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public. Facebook built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook. It makes finding new things much easier, but user can only see what they could already view elsewhere on Facebook.

Graph Search currently is in limited preview, or beta and only available to a few users with English (US) audiences.  You can sign up for the waiting list here.

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