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Facebook Graph Search – The third pillar

Facebook has launched a new feature (still in beta version) “Graph Search” on 15th January 2013 to allow users to filter through the posts, images, messages in a way that will transform complete user experience of using social networking sites, as claimed by company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg it is the third pillar of Facebook after timeline and news feed. Zuckerberg added that their new product is a completely new way for people to get information according to their search queries. The functionality is designed initially to let users to search four categories; people, images, interests and places, and this search will expand in coming days.

Initially the dynamics of Graph search involves answers to very specific queries like “Who are my friends in London?”, “photos of my friends taken in amusement parks”, “people who like cycling and from my home town” etc. It allows us to use natural language terms to quickly search through all the people, places, images listed in your network. Other information for a particular query will be delivered through Bing search engine which has a partnership with Facebook.

We all know size and influence of Facebook is huge, and industry experts claims that, this step of the company will be a threat to search leader Google and other social sharing sites such as Yelp. It is important to note that Facebook will not rely on back links or any other metric related to traditional search engines algorithms. It integrates the data from its own social circuit and renders results accordingly. For example if a user searches for “Hotels in London”, Google will render the best results according to their own algorithms based on number of back links or website structure. If same query is fired in “Graph Search”, Facebook will integrate data from the user’s social networks and render best results from the user’s network only. However, this is a two way situation for us as end users that what set of results are best for us; results from world wide web or results from our friends recommendations.

The big question revolving around is that users will migrate or change their searching from traditional search engines to “Graph search” which looks more trustworthy than traditional “Googling”. No doubt this is just the budding age for Facebook; it has to move a long way to capture the market.

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