Facebook has recently announced a new product they’re calling Graph Search. The tool will enable users to “map out their relationships with the people and things they care about.” Continuing Facebook’s stated goal of connecting the world, this new function will help users connect to things that are most relevant to them.
Here is an overview to help you get a jump start on this latest technology:
What is Graph Search and How Does it Work?
As stated above, Graph Search lets Facebook users connect with what they care about, including specific people, places, brands as well as other interests. But, you might ask, Facebook already has a search feature, what makes Graph Search different? Well, Graph Search attempts to imitate the way people interact in real life, through sharing information and making recommendations based on personal experience. For example, you may use Graph Search to look for restaurants that your friends have visited.
Graph Search is also quite distinct from traditional search engines like Google or Bing. While those engines are keyword driven (i.e. horror novels), Graph Search is phrase driven (i.e. My friends who like Stephen King.) “We believe they have very different uses,” says Facebook.
With its access to innumerable data points, Facebook transforms streams of numbers into useful information. With each item you post on Facebook, whether it be a status update or product “like,” you are revealing more about the kind of person you are. With Graph Search, Facebook is leveraging this acquired information to customize the advertizing you are exposed to.
Will Graph Search Be Relevant?
While it is difficult to definitively say what impact Graph Search will have on social networking, experts have already put forth their two cents worth. Some are declaring it the next big thing in search, speculating that it will revolutionize the ways in which social media impacts aggregation of information and commerce. However, Graph Search is quite a ways from realizing this, if indeed it ever does.
One major hurdle Facebook will have to overcome is the privacy issues that have repeatedly plagued it in the past. The site will have to tread a precarious line as users may not take kindly to their entire profiles being searchable. Also, there has been much made in the past about Facebook exploiting the information of their users, often unbeknownst to them, for profit. How users will react to this latest and greatest attempt to market their information only time will tell.
How Does it Impact Small Business Marketers?
Graph Search may still be in utero, but its latent potential is great enough that marketers ought to make an aggressive push to get noticed on the social network landscape. Graph Search could soon alter this landscape greatly and older marketing methods may be rendered ineffective by comparison. This behooves marketers to adapt early and build a strong following from your target demographics. What are you doing to make your brand or organization discoverable on Facebook’s Graph Search?
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