Facebook Social Search Engine


I’ve been a long time campaigner to get Facebook to fix their internal search engine, and it now finally looks like they’ve listened!

Thanks in the most part to 2 ex-Googlers Facebook are to start rolling out what’s being called “Graph Search” (with more than a hat tip to the ‘Open Graph‘ protocol).

Previous results were always primarily contextual to your own preferences, returning friends and pages where they matched your query, and backed up by Bing web search results when unmatched.

The result of the upgrade is still constrained to the Facebook world – it’s walled garden – but there are apparently noises about expanding to include the wider web – nirvana. Utilising the following facets – People, Photos, Places, and Interests – people can ‘vertical search’ their friends for advice. So an example would be searching a location for recommendations for something to do e.g. “mexican restaurant recommendations in San Francisco”. Not having experienced this there is no doubt that these fantastic new results listings will not only change how we use the output but also how we consider our inputs, and also who we connect with in a wider context.

Good for us – no doubt; good for Facebook – inevitably; good for advertisers and big data collectors – certainly. But most importantly for the social web it gives those of us who’ve been on Facebook for a few years now some reason to want to keep using it rather than losing it thanks to it’s fading patina.

Here’s Chango’s Dax Hamman’s thoughts on monetisation: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dax-hamman/monetizing-facebook-graph-search_b_2504959.html

Here’s John Batelle (author of The Search) on his take on Facebook Graph Search: http://battellemedia.com/archives/2013/01/facebook-is-no-longer-flat.php



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