Facebook has rolled out a new search engine that permits fans to investigate the backgrounds of friends within, or outside of their social circles. Dubbed Graph Search, Mark Zukerberg describes the new Facebook feature as an innovative way to locate people, photos, places and activities that Facebook fans may find of interest and in relationship to their Facebook friends.
Conducting a Graph search harnesses Facebook’s estimated one billion data base of users, 240 billion photos and over 1 trillion connections. Facebook’s shear economy of scale makes it a power to be reckoned with and Google is paying attention to the promising new Facebook feature. Currently, the service is only available to a small number of fans and is available only for the desktop and only in English. Similar to platforms such as Path, Facebook fans have the capacity to brush off old memories, find people in their network and reveal likely connections.
One can also search using criteria such as “place type”, ”liked by” and “Visited by friends”. Searches can be enhanced with advanced filters designed to refine search results. A search could be conducted that is based on a specific set of parameters. For example, one could conduct a query like “Iraqi veterans who live in Sunrise, FL.” The more filters you employ, the more refined are the search results”. The search engines capabilities are a perfect tool for for dating services and employment opportunities. Like Google, social networks such as LinkedIn and Match.com are concerned about Facebook’s powerful data base becoming direct competition.
The search tool bar will be located at the top of each page, eliminating the traditional white tool bar. Users will be able to edit the search and create a custom view of the search results. Searches can then be shared on your Facebook wall. Graph search performs differently from common key word searches, permitting the user to utilize a combination of phrases. So try it out for yourself and see what you think!