There has been a bit of talk about the coming Facebook Graph Search feature now in Beta testing. We were lucky enough to be among those invited to test the product. We wanted to share what it is how it might affect your practice when it is released to public use soon.
Facebook Graph Search focuses on people, places, interests and photos on Facebook. It is based on what people “LIKE” on Facebook. So, we could search the music Optometrists “LIKE” and if we were making a presentation embed the most popular music from that search into the presentation giving us an advantage over someone who put in whatever they liked or thought might be popular. We could even narrow that target and search what music female Optometrists “LIKE” versus male Optometrists, or search geographically. How will this work for the average Facebook user? He or she could search people who “LIKE” cycling in their city, or refine that search to single people who like cycling.
The difference between Facebook Graph Search and Google Search is pretty simple. Google searches the entire web. With the exception of top pages, Google is excluded from indexing Facebook. Microsoft’s Bing (Microsoft was an early investor in Facebook) has the exclusive rights to Facebook search. The other thing Facebook Graph Search has going for it is the ability to combine searches. So we could search Optometrists who ”LIKE” Thai food for example which is something Google doesn’t do…..not yet anyway.
Here a look at how the top search bar in Facebook changes one you have Graph Search. The first photo you are used to as today’s standard.
Now you see it changed with a lot of real estate for search, while the icons for messages and search move to the right.
It’s kind of funny how we will post anything and everything, but get offended when someone else does something with what we post. Facebook recently settled a lawsuit to the tune of $20million for allowing personal photos to be used in promoted posts. Perhaps you received an email offering you a whopping $10 as part of the settlement. To that point, only what is publicly available on Facebook is included in Graph Search, so if your profile is locked down you will most likely be excluded from search results. Don’t worry that searches on Graph Search will be too narrow, Facebook’s one billion monthly users give Facebook Graph Search users access to the over 240 billion photos and 1 trillion connections that are publicly available on the site.
As we play more and as the testing becomes more widely available, we will keep you updated, but for now, this is a fun and valuable addition to Facebook.