Graph search is a feature that will now allow users to search their network and history on the site in much greater detail. No longer will the results you get from the white search bar be relegated only to people, places, groups and/or horrible games. But is this power to conduct a comprehensive search of Facebook really necessary? And is the new feature more beneficial or detrimental to its users? Only time will tell.
Image credit ThirdTeamMedia
So Facebook has yet again rolled out what they consider to be a groundbreaking new feature. And yet again, as with all changes to the social networking site, it is being met with open arms by some, and disdain and paranoia by others.
Are you a chronic ‘Facebook stalker’? Would you like to be? Well, this thing is changing the game. If you think it was easy to keep tabs on people that you haven’t seen or spoken to in ten years before, graph search is going to blow your mind. Thanks to the new feature, you’ll be able to run searches like “My Friends Who Are Single” or “People From My Hometown Who Like ‘Game of Thrones’ AND ‘Cosplay,’” and see all the results on one easy-to-use, stalker-streamlined page.
If you’re one of those people that are already paranoid about how well the internet knows you, you may want to look away. Now that Facebook can be searched in great detail, advertisers will have even more opportunities for targeted marketing. So if you were pissed that Googling “That’s my jam” one time three years ago has gotten you bombarded with Gmail ads for jarred fruit preserves, it’s only going to get worse from here. Every search you conduct and everything you ‘like’ will likely add you to another list of potential targets for Facebook advertisers.
Well, not NO more Bing, but much less Bing. It used to be that if your search didn’t yield enough people, places or the like, Facebook would ask if you wanted the Bing results of what you were looking for. Oh, thanks Facebook. We were hoping you’d push Bing on us even though NO ONE uses it unless they work for Microsoft or they’re a confused old person. But now that the search results on Facebook will be much more sophisticated, you won’t quickly be forced to some second-rate search engine you have zero interest in using.
In the past, ‘liking’ something on Facebook meant that you were just going to get occasional updates on it. Or maybe that you’d show up in that right sidebar that says “So and so and 18 of your friends like” whatever. But now, what you ‘like’ will be highly searchable. So if you’re a 51-year-old man who ‘liked’ Selena Gomez, or you’re a ‘happily’ married woman who just happened to ‘like’ AshleyMadison.com, that info is now much more accessible. So either ‘unlike’ them, or be prepared to show up in the results when your friends are searching for creeps and cheaters.
Like many changes that Facebook has pushed on its users before, graph search will primarily be argued against by raising privacy issues. The social networking platform has come under fire in the past for supposedly damaging and possibly even violating the privacy rights of its users, so much so that they’ve been running a campaign for the past year to inform people on how to control their own privacy. And while graph search will make all of us more searchable, the fixes for those who would rather not be are readily available.