Not everybody understands just why Facebook is so incredibly powerful. In order to explain this, you need to see what Facebook is for its 1 billion+ users.
Essentially, Facebook has become the internet, well that’s what Facebook wants you to believe. They, being your customers, your users and your fans – want to be able to do whatever they want or need within Facebook. That’s always been the golden thread for web publishers, content and social platforms.
Facebook as the Internet
So what does this really mean? Basically, once someone is inside Facebook, they want to be able to stay there. They want to be able to find what they need or like and do everything they had wanted to do without having to go to a different platform. Your responsibility, therefore, would be to turn Facebook into a tool to increase the value of their social life. Remember at all times that being social and being able to share being socially is critically important.
Understanding the Facebook Graph Search
So what about the new graph search? Facebook has proved its ability to grow its community and set the standard in social networking to make it even more integral to the day to day activities of its users. They first made the bold move to attach themselves to Bing, but they have now also launched a Graph Search, which can be accessed through the personal account of each user.
The Verge was one of the organizations that were asked to test this new feature. They reported that the top menu bar of Facebook looks completely different. The universal search is now attached to the top left of the menu bar. Notification, friend request and message buttons are on the far right. Other changes are in the color schemes and the design of the icons. The biggest difference, however, is that the Facebook logo is no longer on the far left of the screen, instead showing a small “f”. It is believed that this is a way to prompt people to “find ” people, things and places.
When it was launched, Facebook discussed all of these features. However, some would argue that it is quite a cocky move, because changing the visible features of branding is, in marketing terms, a very dangerous move. Besides this, the fact that the big “Facebook ” has been removed is quite arrogant, since it seems to mean they expect everybody in the world to now know what Facebook is, even if they can ‘t see the name. However, with so many users, perhaps they are actually able to be as arrogant as that.
In their tests, The Verge said that hovering over the new logo makes it change into a magnifying glass. The search field allows you to look for friends, restaurants, photos, music, games, and so on. So, you can find everything you need but only in your personal context.
Facebook Graph – an Intelligent Search?
The Facebook graph is said to be an intelligent search platform. It knows where users are geographically, so that they only get to see the results that are relevant to their location. For instance, if you look for a restaurant, you will only see those within what is known as the Foursquare space. This is interesting, because Facebook Places was actually quite limited compared to that.
So is this all new? Google has had this for quite some time already…
There ‘s More!
Now, the point of Facebook is to be social with other people. It is about connecting with others, so a search should be about that to. Hence, you can now find certain places, restaurants, bars and so on that your friends have visited, that they have liked or that they have recommended. For instance, you can search for “bars nearby my friends like “, thereby having the most relevant results possible.
Monkey see monkey Do
Through Facebook Graph, social networks, personal experiences and review sites are joined together. The more critical people get in their reviews, the more targeted the results will be and the bigger impact they will have on the places that have been reviewed. Users can be incredibly specific, for instance by searching for “pictures taken at bars nearby my friends like “. Doing this will reveal all the pictures that are found from that bar in which your friends are tagged, where they have been or where they may be now, if they have checked in that is. Essentially, all of these tools are designed so that you can find what you need, rather than being presented with page upon page of results that you have no interest in, which is what happens if you choose to do a Google search for restaurants nearby.
So will this be a game changer?
Maybe, time will tell. Facebook has a captive audience and the traffic to give it the benefit of the doubt, but Google
is definitely not going to take this lying down.