Understanding Facebook’s new Graph Search

Facebook has announced the launch of it’s Graph Search. It is expected to be a new opportunity to share and gather information on the web allowing the user to analyze and act on data.

The idea behind Graph Search is basically to tap into Facebook database and see what your friends, their friends, and so on, are already sharing. We trust our friends and can now look to them for unlimited recommendations and suggestions.  You can just do a quick search and find out what others think and are doing.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use Graph Search to better understand your customers. Discover demographic information about them. There are a virtually limitless number of queries you can feed Graph Search to learn about your customers. For example, you can go with a generic search, like “things that have been liked by fans of Apple,” or go for a more targeted search, like “Music that is liked by fans of Visit Florida.”
  • You can also take it a step further to learn more about your competition or specific industry trends. Get information about people who work at a partner or competitive company. Just ask Graph Search “People who work at [name of company].” Graph Search will helpfully offer suggestions of companies it knows about.
  • Looking for a great getaway? Get a list of all the places someone has visited. Thanks to Facebook’s check-in service, you can see in surprising detail all the places that specific people, or groups of people, have gone. Try “Places that [person] have been,” or “Places that fans of [company] have been” for that sort of detail. You can also use the map tool to refine the search; you can narrow it down just to restaurants, for example.

Facebook is slowly introducing members to Graph Search. If you haven’t received your invite yet and want in just visit Facebook’s page to request access here. It might take a few days, but you’ll soon get a message inviting you to turn on the new search bar at the top of Facebook. From there, you can take a short tutorial and start making natural language searches that help you correlate and synthesize previously discrete data points about people all across Facebook.

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