Facebook has unleashed Graph Search for the masses, and make no mistake: this is a huge step for Facebook. While on the surface it offers a bunch of new features to Facebook, it’s also unlike anything else out there’s. This is what graph search is and how to use it
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First and foremost Graph search is a search for Facebook
But, while Facebook Open Graph is a web search, it really isn’t. You won’t find song lyrics, or YouTube videos and anything web.
It’s really a way to search Facebook for things on Facebook. More specifically, it’s for searching things that have been shared using Open Graph – hence the name. Open graph is that feature that lets Facebook share your app you use, the photos you comment on etc, etc.
But you can still search the web.
While graph search isn’t a web search, if it comes across something it doesn’t recognize, it goes to the web to find answers to your search.
Interesting to note is that Graph search queries Bing, not Google, perhaps further hinting at the rivalry forming between Facebook and the mostly failed g+
Graph search is for searching four types of things: People, Photos, Places and Interests.
For example you can search for apps used by friends, or friends of friends. Or TV shows watched by your friends from New York. Or pictures of your female friends, taken by male friends, in the tri-county area. Anything that links to you can be searched
It’s straight forward enough on the surface, but it’s truly a new way to search – it’s searching everything social on the biggest social network
You can make as long a string as you like and be as explicit as you like. You can type it as a sentence “places to eat” and filter it down.
Because of how…potentially creepy this can be, Facebook is talking up its privacy – it introduced privacy shortcuts just a few months ago. Since Graph search is so powerful, it has the power to be pretty potentially dangerously creepy. And stalker-ish. It’s the downside risk of merging your social data with the refined search tools used by dating websites and army recruiters
And it’s only going to get more powerful.
Graph search is going to grow with open graph. Everything shared with Open Graph we eventually be searchable via graph search. Everything from likes, posts, status, comments, even music you like via Spotify, or food you’ve cooked via Foodily – all of it searchable and viewable using Graph search
Graph search has rolled out to all American English Facebook users, after almost eight months of being in the works.
Facebook’s own announcement of Open Graph tooted its own horn, as a way to revolutionize searches
Find old friends or meet new people who share your interests: For example, “people from my hometown,” or “friends of friends who live nearby and like playing tennis.” Revisit your favorite photos or photos you missed: “Photos I like” or “photos of my family.” Discover restaurants and places recommended by others like “hotels in Seattle visited by my friends” or “restaurants in New York liked by graduates of the Culinary Institute of America.” Look for interesting activities to explore such as “movies my friends like” or “music liked by people who like the music that I like.”
With Graph Search coming into its own, Facebook is retiring its “Who can look up my timeline” features, which is launched back in December of 2012
This formerly universal setting was used to see who could see what o your timeline. All you have to do was type their name into the Facebook search bar, and you could see what they would see. Beyond that, the featured was very limited. Open Graph has more or less taken its place, and it continues to be rolled out to the general public.
Do you have access to Open Graph? Tell us what you like and dislike about it below!