Facebook has finally stepped into the ring with Google, and there is a lot going for it this time round. After more than a year of brain rummaging on the part of its developers, Facebook has unveiled its new search tool, Graph Search, which is expected to provide far more search options than Google, particularly regarding people, their interests, places, etc. The Facebook ‘Like’ and photos of your friends would be the biggest assets in the search.
It is another giant step forward by Facebook which is already the biggest social media platform on the internet. In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “Graph search is a completely new way to get information on Facebook.”
So, how is Graph Search different from Google?
A typical Google search is more of an undefined search that returns links in response to our query. The returned links might or might not have what you are looking for. The Google algorithm is such that only the most popular searches appear on the first page. For instance, if you are searching for best restaurants in Delhi, it will come up with the 5 star and 3 star restaurants or the huge franchises on the first few pages. You might have your own preference, your own budget, and it’s very hard to find something on Google according to those specifications. You got to dig really deep, scroll through pages and pages of information to get what you want.
Facebook Graph Search, on the other hand, would take your query and address it with a more specific answer rather than giving you pages of links.
Let’s elucidate this with a few examples:
- You could put a query in Graph Search, “Which friends of mine live in Pune”- and it will come up with YOUR. A more personalized search is how Facebook refers to it.
- Friends who like Dark Knight and Django Unchained. In this case, there may be another person with same friends as you, but based on your relationship with the particular friends (which Facebook lets you decide), the results would be filtered.
- It also serves as an excellent tool for dating. Suppose you are searching for single women. Ask Graph Search, “Who are single women” you will be shown profiles of single people in your friend list, and people who are friends of your friends. You can further streamline it according your city
These are only a few examples of what Graph Search can do for you. You can search for a doctor that your friends go to, or a book your friend reads, a hotel where he/she stayed. Companies can also use this search tool to recruit people.
Photos also serve as essential element of this new search tool. For example, if you enter,” photos of my friends at beaches”, it will return to you a page full of stunning pictures of your friends at beaches, taken at any beach in the world.
Privacy Issues Will Be Taken Care Of
All said and done, if there are any reservations in your mind that your privacy is under *threat*, trust Facebook to take care of that. Before this search tool is made available to you, you will be asked, “Please take some time to review who can see your stuff.” Thus you can set your privacy controls accordingly.
The former Google engineers, Lars Rasmussen and Tom Stocky have also been the driving force behind the development of this tool. In their words, “As people shared more and more content, we saw that we needed to give them better ways to explore and enjoy those stories and memories.”
For the initial period, this tool would be made available to few individuals. It would be interesting to see how it all pans out. Google, on the other hand, would surely have something up its sleeve.
Image courtesy Search Engine Land (www.searchengineland.com)