On January 15, 2013, the founder and CEO of Facebook, Inc. Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the Facebook search product, known as Graph Search.
Is it Different from Other Search Engines?
The next evolutionary leap, (after News Feed and Timeline) the search bar is designed to reveal answers. Presently available in private beta version, it is a social search where people can find other people, pages and businesses. Whenever a search query is entered, the search engine would traverse all the existing connections to come up with the most relevant result. A cool feature, another key attribute of this search is that it includes the implied affinities, experiences, likes and shares that people have done throughout this social platform. It’s pretty impressive if you consider its significance!
This means that based on the posts we share, posts, comments and images that we’ve tagged, the search results would surmise from our likes, our travelled destinations, and so forth etc. The ability to include inherent kinships is possible for its massive scale. This makes the results more valuable than other search results. This search is most viable for:
- People Search: You can now search for people with specific affinities and interests
- Media and Entertainment: Finding out what TV shows, media events, games and music is being trended by friends has never been easier.
- Local Search: You can now find businesses and portals that your friends visit or liked.
Businesses and Graph Search
There is every reason for businesses to be excited by this launch. This actually broadens the visibility of the brand as the Facebook Page. Business owners can actually visit the website and experiment with how the page appears in results. You can even use the Graph Search to recognize the pools of target audience who are interested in the services and have the potential to convert into sales lead. The Graph Search is a boon for the business proprietors. You can also use it see the prospective customers that might be interested to interact or engage with the sponsored posts.
Investors can reap the benefits of delivering valuable ads because they can now be attached to Friend’s Post. They will now be delivered right to the target audience, cloaked as a recommendation. With the tremendous reach of Facebook, it is important that the page is updated especially the “About Us” section. The URL of the website can be entered to redirect the potential prospects directly to the website. However, businesses should not impede on personal information, rather take the initiative to engage them.
Security Concerns for Businesses
It is definitely exciting but there are some privacy concerns. Entrepreneurs should be aware of its dangers and protect their business to be able to reap the maximum benefit from Facebook’s new marketing tool. There is a concern of search results unearthing embarrassing photos and comments. Though businesses guard their online reputation, it is important to be aware of how negative posts and comments can affect a business. The Facebook page should be reviewed.
Security Concerns for Users
It is important to understand that Facebook would only display results that exist in privacy settings. A contract on privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission requires any organization to express permission for any alteration that overrides anybody’s privacy preference. However, Graph Search does not change what’s public or private, it just makes the information easily searchable for people who have the consent to see it. The user can control their privacy settings (by clicking on the gear button on the top right hand corner) and changing the preferences.
Reviews to Graph Search have been lukewarm to evasive. Mark Zuckerberg, although confirmed it to be “privacy aware.”