Facebook Graph Search is finally rolling out to U.S. English users after being in beta testing for the past six months. Graph Search was announced earlier this year and has undergone some improvements based on testing and feedback. At this time, it’s only available on desktop, not mobile, but we can expect that Facebook will update this in the future.
So, what exactly is Graph Search?
Graph Search provides search results that are based on ultra-specific long-tail search queries. The tool pulls information from users’ profiles based on the places they’ve visited, the photos they’ve taken and what they’re interested in. For example, say you’re searching for “photos of Hawaii.” Graph Search will pull information based on the photos, people, places and interests of your friends and provide you with these results, as well as public photos. Like the News Feed, Graph Search is unique to each user.
Over the past six months, the tool has had a lot of upgrades made to improve its speed, accuracy and user-friendliness. For instance, the box is now white instead of blue and suggests other relevant searches. Graph Search is also more intuitive in recognizing what users are looking for and posting the most relevant search results at the top of the page.
Now, it’s important to note that Graph Search is not replacing the traditional web search feature, so users can still use this option. The goal of Graph Search is to provide a more precise response within the Facebook community instead of searching the general web.
Marketers may benefit most from Graph Search
There’s no doubt that Graph Search is a great tool for Facebook users, but it may have the most potential for marketers. The most obvious is content discovery since the search tool makes it easier for users to find businesses and content that marketers have posted on the social media site. Graph Search also helps reach new target audiences since you can focus in on specific groups of people.
Privacy issues are a concern anytime a new feature is rolled out on Facebook, but users still have the option to control what others can search about them by using their privacy settings. For marketers, however, this added search function breaks through the traditional barriers of web searches and allows marketers to expand their social reach.