Most Facebook users have a friends list that is representative of various nationalities, interests, and more. This diversity can even come in handy in many cases. Have a technology issue with Final Cut Pro? You can ask you gadget friend what you need to do when exporting your final project.
Testing out a recipe you found online on how to make a certain dish? You can ask your chef friend who specializes in that specific cuisine any tips on the dish’s preparation. However, there are times when we don’t know about the varied interests our friends hold. Facebook Graph Search is a feature that makes comprehensive friend searching easier to do. Here’s a basic guide on how.
What’s Graph Search?
Facebook Graph Search allows you to get a better picture of your friends on Facebook. In many cases, this can include things that you may not have known about your friend. The key to the information found in Graph Search is that it is information that is already on your friend’s profile. What we add in our profile, the “likes” we have, and other information we have is incorporated into Graph Search – nothing truly added. This makes Graph Search safe for the individuals who have privacy concerns. It’s more of an organized way to view our friendship framework online.
The search tool is approachable and easy to use. There isn’t a bunch of features popping out at you. At the top, you have the search bar where you can begin searching right away. The upper right side of the Graph Search is where you are able to access your notifications, messages, any requests, and more. The center of the Graph Search is where you’ll find search results that appear as you type. Aside from a “See More” button at the very bottom to load more results when needed, that is all that is found on the Graph Search page. It’s simple, but quite useful, and here’s how.
Performing a Search
Facebook Graph Search is powerful because of how it condenses all of the information Facebook can throw at you. When you are ready to perform a search, you can simply enter the term you are searching for, however for greater discovery it may help to be a bit more general. When you first land on Facebook Graph Search, you are given search suggestions. A people search would start best with the term “My Friends”, with more respective suggestions appearing instantly. Other suggestions Facebook gives you includes:
Putting in “Photos” , for example, opens up suggestions like “Photos taken in”, “Photos in…”, “Photos taken after…” etc.
As a whole, I feel that Facebook Graph Search will only have potential if it is readily available and repeatedly referred to by Facebook. The appeal of the “Like” button, a product of a Facebook Hackathon, was that it was available everywhere we went on Facebook. If Graph Search could responsibly replace the current search tool we have, that would increase its appeal.
I totally disagree with anyone who undermines the potential Facebook Graph Search has. The ability for individuals who may need to use individual’s behavior to infer on activity correlations can make heavy use of Facebook Graph. For example, are people who enjoy hiking more likely to enjoy heavy metal? Graph Search could help you come to a conclusion on if this is true or not.
But all of us aren’t social scientists, we may want to help match two of our single friends together with common interests. We might even be on vacation in Florida and wondering where our Facebook friends in Florida like to eat at. Facebook Graph Search has the potential, but even before the service is implemented, I can see a lot of places where the search can improve on. Many times, we don’t look at the things we like on Facebook and wouldn’t always take what we like as great advice for others to look upon.
Also, something we may have liked or been interested in when we created our Facebook a couple of years ago, may not be the same now. These are the things Facebook will iron out over time, but the only way you’ll know if Facebook Graph Search is good enough for you is to try it out when it premieres soon!