Facebook, the ever evolving social media giant announced the expansion of the graph search function on 30th September 2013. The graph search function will now enable users to find and collate information and data amidst user postings. Previously the graph search, which is a Facebook search engine assisted users in discovering only connections between places, people and things. The new Facebook feature allowed users to search status updates, check-ins, comments and photo captions of their friends. However, these will be viewable only if it is shared with the user, owing to Facebook privacy policies. The privacy controls of Facebook do not allow private data to be viewable to even friends if the settings are turned on. To look for posts in Graph Search, you can click on the search bar at the top of any page on Facebook. Then type in your search (ex: “Posts by my friends about college”) and press Enter, or choose a suggestion from the drop-down. To filter your results, you can use the options under Refine This Search on the right. You can search for the topics you’re interested in and see what your friends are saying for example – “Posts about Social Media by my friends.” You can even search for posts about a city, place or from a certain time, such as “Posts by my friends from last month,” “Posts written at Lonavala.” The new feature also allows you to search for posts, like “Posts I commented on” or “My posts from last year.” You can filter posts by author, keywords, location, comments and other things. Click See More for more filtering options.
The topic specific updates help connect with friends sharing a similar interest. For instance if your favourite sitcom is over and you want to search which of your friends are feeling bad about it, you can now do so simply by searching. Apart from this, users can also search comments on an old post from previous years, look into their past. Therefore, it is suggested that sensitive content should be controlled through privacy settings of user profile. This feature will also curate content from nearby restaurants, recommendations by friends and content updates that are usually missed out on. For instance, if you are looking for a good restaurant in a particular area, you will be able to track your friend recommendations and posts easily. Currently the expanded graph search is being rolled out only to a small group of people who currently use graph search and will continue to improve the experience by listening to feedback.
What this means for the social media industry
Brands have an advantage since recommendations will now be more visible among friends. People who search for “good stores in malad” will be able to view recommendations from friends in the area. However, this gives brands another reason to start taking social media more seriously since negative comments, posts will also be equally visible to friends. If brands have not replied to a comment, not interacted with a user, it can easily spread through Facebook. Photo Credit Facebook