For a long time, Google has been the dominant search engine on the internet, but Facebook’s new search function is trying to change that. On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be launching a new feature called the Facebook Graph Search. Using Facebook’s database of 800+ million people, users can now find out information based on their friends and friends of friends. Facebook’s Graph Search will be powered through Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine, which directly competes with Google Search.
How it Works
In the past, when you would use Facebook’s search function, search results would take you off the website and into a normal search results page. Now, all searches will be done directly through Facebook’s site.
Essentially what Facebook has done now, is create a search function that allows you to find what you’re looking for based on what your friends like, as well as friends of friends. So let’s say you wanted to find a coffee shop in Chicago that a lot of people like, but you also only wanted the opinions of people who actually live in Chicago. What you would do is type in the search “Coffee Shops in Chicago, IL from people who live in Chicago IL.” From that point on, you could determine if you want this to search only friends, or if you want to search friends of friends. The search function would then bring up all the places in in Chicago that are coffee shops that have been liked by your friends, or their friends that live in Chicago.
Facebook announced that to start out, the search is going to focus on four main categories for searching. Those four categories are People, Photos, Places, and Interests. The search is still in beta, but if you’re curious on testing out the function, you can sign up to get the beta form of the program here
How it affects Businesses
The search graph opens up more opportunities for businesses to be found by people searching on Facebook. Now when people like your page, their friends can now find you using the Facebook Search Graph. This search function is allowing segmenting to become more and more important, as it allows businesses to be found based on specific data. This also should push companies who have waited for a long time to be on Facebook to finally join. Those on Facebook will have a huge advantage over their competitors, especially if users decide to use Facebook as their main way of finding information. If companies don’t join, they will simply be missing out on huge opportunities to be found.
Interaction will also be key due to the fact that Facebook also counts people who have checked into the location as well. The information that the search is using is strictly based on Facebook, so the more you interact, the more opportunity that the content you’re producing will be content that is popping up on the search.