Today was Facebook’s big press event, and as most of you know, the star of the show was a new comprehensive search engine within the site itself called “Graph Search.” Many were underwhelmed by this announcement, but I personally am blown away by what Facebook has accomplished with this new feature.
But what is it exactly? Simply put, it’s probably going to be one of the smartest search engines that you will end up using on a daily basis. You can’t go to Google — or any site, for that matter — and type “friends that work at my company and like to ski” and expect to get any worthwhile results. That’s what’s powerful about this.
Facebook has a ridiculous amount of information gathered about you and all of your friends. The “like” button may have been a simple novelty in the early days of Facebook, but if you think about it, Facebook really does know what you — and all of your friends — “like.” This is powerful information, that if used correctly, would give Facebook a leg up on Google. Facebook may not index websites, but it sure can index your friends. That’s what this is all about.
It brings a new, and yet old, element to using Facebook. In its earlier days, Facebook was a place to discover new friends, make new connections that you hadn’t been able to make before. Graph Search allows you to find specific things, add filters such as people who like certain things, work at certain places, or knew you during certain times. All of this happens in plain English, and without pesky filter fields.