Blog and Ideas
July 9, 2013
By Jorge Chávez

Facebook’s Graph Search: A Social Search Engine

Facebook’s Graph Search replaces the old search bar with one that lets you look up a wide variety of information about your connections.

Facebook’s Graph Search: A Social Search Engine

Facebook’s Graph Search replaces the old search bar with one that lets you look up a wide variety of information about your connections.

The search engine processes natural language queries to return information from across the user’s social network of friends and connections or beyond, depending on the search. Potential applications of Graph Search include job searches, employee recruitment, marketing and online dating, among a great number of other possibilities.

Here are some examples of searches:

• Restaurants that my friends like in New York City.
• People in my company who like running.
• Single men in New York City who are formerly from Rhode Island.
• Games people who like Star Trek play.
• Harvard alumni who like Madonna.
• Pictures of my friends from before 1995.

As far as privacy goes, Graph Search can only display information to people you originally shared it with. So, for example, if you made your relationship status public, anyone will be able to search for that. But if you only shared with your Facebook friends that you like cliff diving, then only your friends will be able to search for it.

Facebook has made several improvements to Graph Search in the last few months. Here's a breakdown of what's changed, according to the company's announcement:

Speed: Graph Search is faster – both at suggesting potential searches and displaying results
Query understanding: Graph Search understands more ways of asking questions
Results: Graph Search does a better job at showing the most relevant results first
Interface: The search box is easier to see and use

You'll know you have Graph Search when you see your regular search bar switch to a big, white bar instead.

What do you think about this new Facebook tool? Leave your comments below!

Jorge Chávez is Editor Senior at Mijo! Brands in Mexico.

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