Facebook Graph Search – A First Glance

    By Steven Hughes | Small Business

    Facebook Graph Search just became available to me about an hour ago. I want to start by saying I’m generally not impressed with the new shiny toy thing, and I’m not going to say this is a “game changer” but I think there might have been a groan or two from Mountain View, CA (Google Headquarters).

    After a quick first glance Facebook Graph Search has given Facebook a nice shot in the arm. That’s a good thing. The searches seems endless, and you can get very specific as you’ll see blow. You can really do a deep dive of what you’re looking for as Facebook has included several filters. I’m from the camp that online privacy is dead, but even I felt slightly uncomfortable how you could pinpoint an users likes and preferences. It was all available before Graph Search, but not it’s really at your fingertips.

    Facebook Graph Search

    So as you can below Facebook allows you to search for people, places, and things. Facebook gives you about a 45 second tour. You start with a main menu that includes “My Friends” and “Restaurants nearby” -

    Facebook Graph Search – A First Glance image Facebook Graph SearchFacebook Graph Search

    Restaurants nearby

    So if you search “Restaurants nearby” you’re going to get local restaurants that have Facebook Business Pages. While an argument can be made that every local business should have a Facebook Fan Page already, companies that don’t have a page will be at a little disadvantage. It will be interesting to see how Business Pages over the next year with the arrival of Graph Search.

    Facebook Graph Search – A First Glance image Restaurants Nearby FBRestaurants Nearby Facebook Graph Search

    Refine your Search

    I searched Museums in New York, New York. It will bring up all the museums in New York City that have a page. You can also see that it shows all my friends that “Liked” each museum. You can also refine your search to show other places such as bar, hotel, and movie theaters.

    You can refine your search by Place Type, Liked By, Name, Places In, and Visited by. This will give the user searching pinpoint results.

    Facebook Graph Search – A First Glance image Graph Search NYC MuseumsFacebook Graph Search NYC Museums

    Graph Search Web

    There will be times when your search will need help from an outside source. That outside source is Bing. Right now 50K SEO consultants are running to optimize their clients sites for Bing. Oh no…

    The search for “social media consultants new york city” brought me to a Web Search. Now you don’t leave the Facebook site, but the results are pulled from Bing. Well you didn’t think they were going to use Google did you?

    Facebook Graph Search – A First Glance image Graph Search Web BingGraph Search Web Bing

    My friends who like Bon Jovi

    Basically you can search “My friends” who like anything. In the example below I searched, “My friends who like Bon Jovi”. Here are some of the results. Again, you can refine your search results. The other point of interest on these search results are the month and year that you became friends with someone.

    Facebook Graph Search – At first glance I liked what I saw. This will certainly keep users on Facebook longer. The Graph Search also allows us to see what friends like and that is very powerful. For example, we are definitely motivated to try restaurants that our friends like and recommend. While the detail (a full review of a restaurant) isn’t there yet, I can see this being a resource that people use. A recommendation from a friend goes a long a way, and makes our buying decisions easier.

    Undoubtedly there will be bashers of the new Facebook Graph Search, but that’s to be expected of anything big and new. This is fresh out of the oven, and while I tested it for about 2 hours, the Graph Search looks very solid.

    I hope you found the article valuable. Please share if you liked it, that would be much appreciated. I look forward to your comments.

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