Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Facebook Graph Beta Offers Multidimensional Social Search, New Networking Capabilities
Posted on January 17th 2013
Facebook’s Graph search introduces a new multi-dimensional tool for discovering people, places and things filtered by your personal friends and likes. The concept isn’t entirely new — Bing has been integrating social data into its results for over a year now now, and the Google Hotpot experiment (failed though it was) featured location- and personal recommendation-based place discovery, as well as a host of Foursquaresque features such as check-ins and reviews. However, Graph offers social search on an unprecedented scale, with access to likes, posts and preferences of users’ entire social network.
It’s been said that Facebook has become something like a search engine for people, and they’re moving into direct competition with Google with Graph. The levels of refinement are remarkable (from geographic location to employer to relationship status to hometown and more). Music preferred by people who live in Austin and Like “Motown”? Television shows for engineers over 35? No problem. Your friends with friends who work at Google? Start flexing those networking muscles.
Local search promises to be another strong point: if you need a plumber or a doctor, you’d trust your friends to make recommendations. With Graph, you can simply discover professionals in the area with a high rating from your network. It’s going to be important for small business owners to start owning their Facebook presence harder than ever.
Of course, the value of Graph is going to depend heavily on the extent of a user’s personal network — even the most dedicated of social networking addicts would be hard-pressed to Like their accountant on the ‘book. But it’s a self-fulfilling cycle: the more things that a user Likes, the more extensive and accurate their data becomes, providing better recommendations, which lead to more Likes, which grows the data further.
Users will also be able to view a comprehensive backlog of the things they’ve Liked over the years — useful for search, but not so much for the nostalgia and/or procrastination-inclined among us. Tom Stocky, director of product management at Facebook, characterizes the new capability as a “third feed” for users: you have Timeline, which allows you to see your own activity, and the News Feed, which allows you to see others’ — now the “search feed” allows you to see an archived history of what you Like (and like, for that matter).
But enough about search ramifications and local business: let’s talk about how this is Facebook going back to its roots as a people engine. I’m of the generation that started using the ‘book when it required a .edu email address, producing a 25-and-under wonderland of a location-based dating site (or hookup machine, if that’s what you’re into). These days, it’s positively weird to get a message or request from a stranger who saw your profile and wants to get all up ons. However, with Graph, the networking potential is enormous — I’ll be surprised if the increased access to data doesn’t lead to a massive uptick in communication specifically via Facebook, or at least reduces the stigma of having an inquiry slotted into the dreaded “Other” box.
Facebook Graph is the company’s first “beta” product, with a waitlist that will slowly open to English-speaking users first, then other languages. It’s tough to offer a value judgment on something so new, but personally, I’m optimistic. Graph’s potential is enormous to users (who doesn’t love getting personal recommendations without the effort of actually making a phone call?), businesses (who stand to gain a lot of notoriety if they play their social media cards right) and marketers (who have access to a veritable treasure trove of incredibly specific demographic targeting data) alike.
Of course, Graph will be most valuable to those who are fully immersed in the service and have friends who do the same — but with Facebook’s 800 million-strong base and the heavy-engagement nature of the service, that’s a hell of a sample size. It’s a smart move for Facebook as a company and a potentially incredible tool for its users. Keep your eyes on this space for further reports as details roll out!