Monday, January 21, 2013

Facebook Graph Search – The Future of Search

facebook graph search

Facebook Graph Search can’t go unnoted; it is a game changer.

What’s new?  Graph search unlike web search (which is based on keyword search), is trying to understand how people, places and things relate to one another rather than match words to any text. In other words, we can search for people, places, pictures or interests that are on Facebook (...what’s not on Facebook) with specific criteria (intersect people, places and things).  For example: “friends who have been to Paris”, “people who like things I like”, “Indian restaurants in New York liked by friends from India”.  Super cool, right?

Why is it so powerful? because Facebook transforms into a discovery engine.  With over 1 billion users that’s a lot of information right there, we can actually make use of all this data, it is mind blowing.  Think of all the possibilities, look up restaurants by locals or chefs recommendations, fun places to visit by friends or family, movies by experts, meet new people by interest, workplace, location, etc. (huge for professional networking and dating).

What are the problems?  I hear a lot “Like is not really used as a recommendation”, true, but now we know it is; like is the new recommendation, soon enough we’ll adapt, at the end of the day we want to make sure our recommendations count. That said recommendations can be tricky;   we still read the reviews before choosing a hotel, restaurant or a dentist. (cheap is not always good), we need the context, not just the number of likes.  We do trust our friends, just not necessarily their taste in food or music… plus we don’t share so much negative reviews on Facebook (we don’t share enough of anything).  The burning problem is privacy; it is still a big concern (managing what we share with whom, really?)

Privacy aside, we want to make sure our profile has all the information needed to be found in the largest people directory ever.  (Is Linked-in a thing of the past?)

One more thing, make sure you Like Symbolab on Facebook, it is the best equation search engine after all :)