The big hype this week for the digital marketing world was around one thing and one thing only – Facebook. So what was so exciting that it had the world’s ears hanging on every word? Well, Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of a brand new smart search engine called – Graph Search.
A rather un-catchy name nevertheless Facebook aims to greatly improve on its current level of search within the platform to expand it to a much wider area.
Zuckerberg emphasises pillars – how currently the main 2 are newsfeed and timeline where users can share whatever with whoever – allowing them to curate every bit of information that they want to show up for.
Graph search is the new so-called ‘pillar’ – which develops the idea of social search further, allowing people to find for example photos they’ve previously liked, find photos of particular people, family photos etc. This previously was all information that was rather hard to find out easily.
Facebook’s main selling point to their ‘Graph Search’ is that of personalisation in contrast to web search. Where if you and a friend are searching for things on Facebook your interactions will tailor your individual search results. Furthermore, Facebook see it as a tool to ask questions that you wouldn’t think to ask a normal search engine and in their words aim to “make the world feel smaller”.
The product is currently in Beta format with a waiting list (which you can sign up to) and according to Zuckerberg offers search for a limited amount of queries – people, photos, places, pages for businesses (this will be expanded upon in the future).
Questions remain about how intuitive it’s likely to be and whether specific search queries are needed to find exactly what you’re looking for. Nevertheless, the curiosity about how this will affect Google’s stronghold on search is growing. Our Strategy director Kelvin Newman shared his thoughts today on eConsultancy about this – Early thoughts on what Facebook’s Graph Search means for SEO.
Firstly, it’s obviously going to affect many search areas such as dating, eating out, shops, hotels, recruitment, travel, music etc. More importantly it’s interesting to see how it’s going to work with its search partner Bing. Last year they launched to some degree – Bing Social. Not available the world over yet, the aim was to encompass Twitter and Facebook posts and data into the search results. We’ll have to wait and see if this takes off but Graph Search could potentially be a big step forward.