Last week Facebook unveiled a beta release of Graph Search, it’s first major event since its May Initial Public Offering that caught the attention of everyone in the industry.
The Social Graph, will help users with a personalized search through their connections and interests in order to find information relevant to them. Additionally, Facebook also reinforced their partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, for a “unified search experience”.
On the other hand Google’s Knowledge Graph is still in its early stages. Google’s search team is interested in getting users the best possible answers, at lightning speed, regardless of who their friends are.
The question is, Can Facebook encroach on Google’s signature turf? Will the new Facebook Graph Search turn things upside down? Or Google’s stronghold on Web search is unbeatable?
Let us see what Indian Social Media Industry Leaders have to say :
Social Wavelength (Social PR Outsourcing Pvt. Ltd.)
We have seen a first version of the Facebook Search Graph and while it has inspired intrigue, there are questions expressed about it’s real significance, and especially vis-a-vis Google.
Personally, I see phenomenal potential around the Search Graph, even if it is just a beginning at this time.
Whenever one is looking to purchase something that needs some amount of research, opinions of known people matter. At this time, we may occasionally put a tweet out or a Facebook post too, asking for opinions. Say, about a travel destination, or about shortlisted car models, or whatever. But it is quite likely that those who actually have an experience to share have not seen your post and hence do not react. Now with this powerful search, you can drill down to those specific friends who have visited that destination or have an opinion on the car. And you seek them out and ask them your questions!
Also while currently, the results may be based only on page likes, going forward, if Open Graph is also integrated (not sure if it already is), then you get far more authentic user experiences to learn from, and more reliable results on your Search Graph too.
I think Graph Search is interesting because its a personalized Google search, if you will.
If I want to know which beer is the best in the world, I’ll Google it. If I want to know how many of my friends like that beer or rather what my friends think is the best beer I’ll just search for it on Facebook.
More than anything, this will put a lot of premium for brands to invest in ‘genuine social relationships’ and create love for their brands. Tapping into key influencers and making champions out of customers will thus becomes even more important than it already is. There will be increased emphasis also on keeping consumers ‘happy’ – because the happier they are, the more they will share. The more they share, the more likely they are to pop up in search. The adverse also applies to unhappy consumers.
The other really game changing part of Facebook’s Open Graph is that if people opt to make themselves public on graph search then ‘local’ social networking will become huge. Imagine you want to start planting trees in your area and you can find people in Worli who care about the environment. Connect with them and boom. Brands can start sponsoring grants for people in areas to do what they want to do. Eg. Garnier can sponsor grants for people to become more ‘environmental’. Use graph search. Find 10 buddies and unlock the grant and then go out and do it. Can be really exciting.
Of course there will also be tweaks in the way we currently do Facebook advertising and a lot of this data can be useful there and that probably will be the big money spinner but for me the above 2 are most interesting.
Platform & Infra Technology at Network18 Media & Investments Ltd
Co-Founder & CTO
(burrp! got acquired by Infomedia18 (now Network18) in April 2009.)
FB Graph Search will finally bring to the fore those brands which have accumulated many members and likes. It will give a chance to smaller brands to also compete with bigger ones just on the basis of actual user likes not on the basis of how much marketing noise they can make.
Just as SEO is the currency in Google search, FB Like will be the currency in Graph Search.
I think this can only get more powerful. A real kickass Facebook move.. !
Head – Social at Myntra Designs Private Limited; Blogger; Columnist @ Bangalore Mirror
Remember that joke? Facebook has spent a lot of time and energy trying to kill it – so much that Graph Search is being called its ‘third pillar’. While Facebook has so far been mostly about staying connected, Graph Search is about making connections. I’d actually say it’s an advertising foray positioned as a consumer tool – Facebook now has the user’s intent broadly divided into 4 categories (people, places, photos and interests), along with his/her ‘influencers’.
An advertising product looks a while away, but when it does arrive it would mean some really sharp segmentation and more relevant ads.
Brands with a lot of organic ‘signals’ (eg. Retail – both real and virtual) would have an advantage in the immediate future as well as when the Open Graph gets integrated. Brands would have to find ways (including better content) to get users to generate more social actions, and this could mean a resurgence of ‘Like’. It’s intriguing to think if Graph Search would ever be made available to Pages.