If you have not been one of the beta users in Facebook’s new Graph Search, you should be starting to get experience with the new tool: Facebook began rolling out the new search engine in the last week to users all over the US.
As of mid-July most of the US now has access to Graph Search, after it was in user testing for six months.
The beta of Graph Search launched in January 2013. At the time, Mark Zuckerberg stated that the search engine was totally different from a regular Web search. The latter is designed to take any open ended search that you make and give you the links that may have answers. Graph Search is supposed to take a very precise query and give you the answer, not just the links that might give you an answer.
Some of the examples that Facebook provided during the launch of Graph Search included:
- ‘friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter’
- ‘photos of my friends taken at National Park’
But the beta users of the tool found that it could be used for more interesting queries:
- ‘married people who like pornography’
- ‘employers of people who like racism’
While this is pretty amusing, these sorts of queries with Graph Search do cause some concerns about privacy. This is no doubt going to be more of a concern as the product is being rolled out to millions of people.
Graph Search will give Facebook users more access to old content. It also means that giving more attention to your privacy settings is in order. That is, unless you want to have some humiliating photos pulled up from years ago.
Graph Search is a key tool for Facebook as it is selling more demand-fulfillment advertisements and pushing the new Facebook Insights feature. The firm is taking a rather conservative point of view on monetization, and it has not said when Graph Search will roll out on smart phones. But Graph Search is no doubt a very important way for Facebook, which recently changed its advertising format, to get better and more profitable organization of the data that is created by its 1 billion+ users.