‘Graph Search’ is an improved version of the Facebook search bar, aimed to help users discover new content through their social connections. As noted on Facebook’s official blog announcement, users will be able to search for phrases like, ‘people who live in my city’, ‘restaurants in San Francisco,’ or ‘books read by CEOs’ under the following four categories:
Still in beta, ‘Graph Search’ is only available in English and excludes ‘Posts’ and ‘Open Graph’ actions for now, however, we can certainly expect Facebook to expand these capabilities as they continue beta testing on the new feature.
Facebook was also careful to note that ‘Graph Search’ upholds all previously established user privacy settings. In other words, while ‘Graph Search’ is meant to help you find new content and connections, you will only be able to view information that was already accessible elsewhere on Facebook. However, as Mashable points out, Facebook has already begun encouraging users to ‘review who can see your stuff’ to avoid any unpleasant surprises as beta invites are slowly rolled out to the public.
Probably one of the most striking new abilities presented by ‘Graph Search’ is the ‘Places’ search feature. As Techcrunch notes, Facebook has now made it very easy to find what ‘restaurants, cafes, and bars’ your friends ‘Like’ and even includes data from the fairly new ‘Facebook Nearby’ feature. Clearly, ‘Graph Search’ has the potential to give Yelp and Foursquare a run for their money. Not to mention, the new feature may be an indicator of future plans to compete in the social search arena with Google+.
This will certainly be a feature to watch, as digital marketers navigate how to best optimize their Pages for ‘Graph Search’, as well. Sign up for the Facebook beta program, here, to get started! We’ll be sure to share any exciting finds as the new feature develops.