Facebook Graph Search uses “Likes” and other data to provide personally relevant search results for each Facebook user. While Google takes a few keywords (“Gold Coast restaurants”, for example) and comes up with the most relevant possible results, Graph Search allows a user to search using a combination of set phrases (eg. Restaurants on the Gold Coast my friends have been to”) and provides results based on relevant people, places and photos that have been shared on Facebook.
Search results will be personalised and the function will be most valuable to those users who regularly use their Facebook profile to Like businesses, pages, films and so on.
At the moment the product is still in beta, and if you want to check it out for yourself in the near future you will need to get yourself on a waiting list.
Can Facebook Graph Search Rival Google?
Like we said, this isn’t a traditional search engine tool like Google, it’s a social search engine, and thanks to Facebook’s billion-odd active users, it’s probably the one that’s most likely to go the distance.
Whether Facebook Graph Search wins over enough users to put any kind of dent in Google’s search supremacy will have to remain to be seen, but from the social network’s point of view anything that keeps users on their site longer (and away from the clutch of Google) can be considered a triumph.
It’s also worth pointing out that Facebook will be drawing on Bing search results when needed to generate content that can’t be found within its own pages.
It may well be within Local search that the new product proves most useful. Using a combination of data from user’s friends, “likes” of local businesses and Facebook check-ins, Graph Search could serve as a very effective, Yelp-like local recommendations engine, which could prove very useful for your hotel’s social media campaign. It could be used to 'find Hotels in Noosa that my friends like'.
Are you excited about the possibilities of Facebook Graph Search?