Facebook Graph Search – A first Glance

  • Buffer

Facebook Graph Search just became available to me about an hour ago.  I want to start by saying I’m generally not impressed with the new shiny toy thing, and I’m not going to say this is a “game changer” but I think there might have been a groan or two from Mountain View, CA (Google Headquarters).

After a quick first glance Facebook Graph Search has given Facebook a nice shot in the arm.  That’s a good thing.  The searches seems endless, and you can get very specific as you’ll see blow.  You can really do a deep dive of what you’re looking for as Facebook has included several filters.  I’m from the camp that online privacy is dead, but even I felt slightly uncomfortable how you could pinpoint an users likes and preferences.  It was all available before Graph Search, but now it’s really at your fingertips and much easier to access.

 

Facebook Graph Search

So as you can below Facebook allows you to search for people, places, and things.  Facebook gives you about a 45 second tour.  You start with a main menu that includes “My Friends” and “Restaurants nearby” -

Facebook Graph Search

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurants nearby

So if you search “Restaurants nearby” you’re going to get local restaurants that have Facebook Business Pages.  While an argument can be made that every local business should have a Facebook Fan Page already, companies that don’t have a page will be at a little disadvantage.  It will be interesting to see how Business Pages over the next year with the arrival of Graph Search.

Restaurants Nearby Facebook Graph Search

 

Refine your Search

I searched Museums in New York, New York.  It will bring up all the museums in New York City that have a page.  You can also see that it shows all my friends that “Liked” each museum.  You can also refine your search to show other places such as bar, hotel, and movie theaters.

You can refine your search by Place Type, Liked By, Name, Places In, and Visited by. This will give the user searching pinpoint results.

Facebook Graph Search NYC Museums

 

Graph Search Web

There will be times when your search will need help from an outside source.  That outside source is Bing. Right now 50K SEO consultants are running to optimize their clients sites for Bing.  Oh no…

The search for “social media consultants new york city” brought me to a Web Search.  Now you don’t leave the Facebook site, but the results are pulled from Bing.  Well you didn’t think they were going to use Google did you?

Graph Search Web Bing

 

My friends who like Bon Jovi

Basically you can search “My friends” who like anything.  In the example below I searched, “My friends who like Bon Jovi”.  Here are some of the results.  Again, you can refine your search results.  The other point of interest on these search results are the month and year that you became friends with someone.

Graph Search - My friends who like Bon Jovi

 

Facebook Graph Search – At first glance I liked what I saw.  This will certainly keep users on Facebook longer.  The Graph Search also allows us to see what friends like and that is very powerful.  For example, we are definitely motivated to try restaurants that our friends like and recommend.  While the detail (a full review of a restaurant) isn’t there yet, I can see this being a resource that people use.  A recommendation from a friend goes a long a way, and makes our buying decisions easier.

Undoubtedly there will be bashers of the new Facebook Graph Search, but that’s to be expected of anything big and new.  This is fresh out of the oven, and while I tested it for about 2 hours, the Graph Search looks very solid.

I hope you found the article valuable.  Please share if you liked it, that would be much appreciated.  I look forward to your comments.

17 comments
patricksplace
patricksplace

Looks interesting, but I don't see any sign of this anywhere on my page, so I suppose it must be one of those slow rollouts that'll get to me eventually. I'm not sure how useful it'd be for me, but I'm happy to finally get to see how a feature works BEFORE it's on my page for a change! :) 

CherySchmidt
CherySchmidt

HI Steve, I have heard of this facebook graph, but I really don't think I will use this very much as I could really care less about such things. Perhaps I should HUH?? Seems like a complete time waster to me and as we all know we have a lot of this on the internet. You could waste your whole day of your not careful on facebook alone, way to many distractions..  I am sure there are  a lot of people who will use this but I am pretty sure I won't be one of them.. But Thanks for the information, perhaps I shall change my mind ( this is a women's prerogative) Chery :)

donnamerrilltribe
donnamerrilltribe

Thanks Steve, for this great outline of what Facebook Social Graph is all about.  I heard people chatting about it on Facebook, but didn't question what it was about.

Now I know!  Not sure yet what I would use it for, but now I can dabble around to see who is interested in the same niche as I am for a start.  Can't give an opinion unless I try it...and I will

Thanks,

Donna Merrill

SarahArrow
SarahArrow

Gosh can you imagine the unfriending I'm going to have when my Facebook friends discover I like Nickleback...

Thanks for outlining this Stephen, I don't have it yet but it may be something to rival Google local, and revamp local searches.

Latest blog post: Galloping not gourmet

Clint Butler
Clint Butler

I actually applied to be a beta tester of this new tool.  I think what they are doing is trying to allow users to measure things they may be interested in the general user and not for the marketer.  It only going to be a matter of time though that marketers will leverage this for more then what its intended though unfortunately.  Then the tool will get a bad name, and privacy concerns will be raised.

marquita.herald
marquita.herald

Uh huh, not impressed. I am not one of those people who can't function without having to get the opinion of other people in order to make a decision. And frankly, no offense anyone, but I find people who do, annoying. I can't really see how this feature might add or detract from my particular business, but I'm sure others will find a way to make it work to their advantage.

DonnaDeClemente
DonnaDeClemente

Thanks Mike for the critique of the new Facebook search graph! I've signed up to receive it, but don't have it yet. Just curious how did you know that you have it? Did you see it at the top of the page on Facebook when you logged in? I'd like to check it out, but I'm sure I'm on a long list!

OrganizerSandy
OrganizerSandy

Really interesting. I'll keep an eye out for it. I'll be interested to try it out. 

CarolLynnRivera
CarolLynnRivera

I wonder where this is going? It doesn't really seem to have a practical application for marketers or businesses yet. Nobody is going to sit there and search for "people who like Bon Jovi" and have a useful bit of marketing info (just as an example). Unless it integrates with ads? Which it may. I also wonder how many people will use it. I see the curiosity value but I also see it wearing off pretty quickly. I don't care who's visiting what restaurant or watching what movie... I wouldn't say I have the same tastes as the vast majority of my Facebook "friends"... which brings up another interesting point, which is given how loosely we've defined the term "friend" (I have friends I have no idea who they are or why I'm even friends with them) how useful is it, really, to know what they like? How useful to us or to marketers? They may as well be strangers. This is a really interesting idea that I'm curious to see how it plays out. Have you noticed anything particularly useful about it outside of curiosity? PS: Good tutorial and rundown here, you explained it well and my comments are about the tool, not your analysis :)

michelledh
michelledh

Great Article thanks, there will be many more business pages now thats for sure.  Be there or go home.  And Bing ... well..  I am very excited to try it out though, I think it will be useful for local events and stuff - and great for stalking  lol 

dadofdivas
dadofdivas

Thanks for the overall primer on facebook graph, I have not seen it pop up yet for me and have been interested to see what it would be like. This gives me a good heads up and I appreciate it!

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

@SarahArrow Ha Ha...That was funny Sarah :) - I think Google needs to be on their toes.  As a whole, people do care about what their friends recommend.  It's incredibly early, but I think FB might be onto something very valuable here...Go Nickleback :)

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @Clint Butler Oh yes Clint the marketers will push over the top.  That's a safe bet.  At first glance, I like it.  It has a nice feel to it, and I think active users will make use of it...

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @CarolLynnRivera So we have a thumbs down. :) I think many people in their own lives are influenced by the recommendations of other friends.  Something simple like a movie.  I'm not a big movie goer, but if I have a handful of friends that are making noise about a movie and insisting on me seeing it, it holds more weight.  The longer Facebook can keep users on their platform, the better for Facebook.  It will take some time for users to adjust and search, but I think active users will give it a chance.  It's not if, but when it will integrate with ads. 

 

Thanks for the comment Carol Lynn, have a great week.

GeeklessTech
GeeklessTech moderator

 @michelledh Hey Michelle...You're too funny...Businesses will be lining up to get pages now, or at least they should be...Have a good weekend.