The new Graph Search by Facebook has a chance to revolutionize the way we do Internet searches. It can enable consumers to really personalize their searching – basing the search not just on what they want, but what their likes and dislikes are and who their friends are.
The new Graph Search will extend the value of ‘likes’ and the social graph of search. This has the potential to revolutionize value, relevance and accuracy. This is especially true as consumers are doing more local searches with their smart phones.
As it turns out, Facebook and Microsoft, which invested in Facebook in 2006, have collaborated on the new search tool. It will enable Facebook to use its data to sell search adds, and Microsoft will be able to enrich its own search data with access to the social data at Facebook. As more consumers use Graph Search, Facebook will become the top rival to Google, some say.
When the new search is launched to the world in the next year or so, people who want to do searches beyond Facebook will see search results from Bing, and also social context and added information from Facebook pages. Over the next few years, some experts think Facebook will cut into Google’s search volume, especially in local and lifestyle searches – restaurants, products and services, and things to do in a city.
This is a totally different type of search. It will lead to results that give precise answers, not just links. It will create socially relevant queries that do not happen at this time in other search engines. People will search for their friends in cities and this will make searching more local and more personally relevant. For example, people could search for which of their friends knows John Travolta, and this could steal traffic from sites such as LinkedIn.
Microsoft also will benefit from the new search tool. More advertisers will come to a search tool powered by Bing, and also will come to Bing partners, such as Yahoo. This will undermine Google’s dominance even more.
The Graph Search is still in beta form, and will not be released for a year or so. If you have questions about the new search, be sure to check out our FAQ on Facebook Graph Search. Some people, for example, are worried that Graph Search is going to reveal too much personal information. We’ll see what happens when the new search goes live to the world.