Facebook Shares How People Are Using Graph Search: Finding Friends Tops List

Today, Facebook has shared information that “hundreds of thousands” of people are using its Facebook Graph Search service, highlighting that people still use it like “old’ Facebook search — to find friends. Facebook then suggests some ways to go beyond that, for those who have the new search feature.

New Ways To Find Friends

From its post, Facebook said that people typically begin using Graph Search to find friends, which isn’t surprising. Finding people has always been by far the main way that people have used Facebook Search.

Facebook offered some related examples to try, such as finding videos of friends, photos of them before a particular date or those who like Kevin Bacon (and who doesn’t like Kevin Bacon?):

facebook search

Pictures From Brands

Facebook’s post then focuses on ways to locate photos shared not by people you know but rather from brands, such as the National Geographic, or to find pictures shared about things or activities, such as the Baltimore Ravens or underwater photography:

graph search 2

Trip Planning

The post continues on, saying that people are using Graph Search to plan trips and offering suggestions on how to do this such as “ski resorts my friends have been to” as one example:

graph search1

Find Things

Finally, Facebook suggests how Graph Search can be used to locate things, with examples like “apps my friends like” or “movies liked by people who like my favorite movies” among them:

graph search 4Getting Them To Search Differently

Why share these examples? They’re not on Facebook’s main blog but rather its newsroom blog, so the audience is really to get news publications writing about Graph Search. It worked!

But, part of this is also because Facebook wants to get the word about how the new service can be used, since people clearly aren’t using it to go much beyond locating people, as they did with regular Facebook Search.

Getting people to use Facebook Graph Search other than finding people could help Facebook build a search business that could rival Google in some ways. But, if people don’t know they can do this, that aspiration will never be met. Even if they do know they can search differently, they still might not do so. That’s what we’re all watching closely over the coming months to see. Will Facebook pull off a change in habits relating to search?

FYI, at our SMX West show next month, we have two sessions that will cover Facebook Graph Search. One is the keynote with Grady Burnett, VP of global marketing solutions for Facebook. We also have a “Meet Facebook Graph Search” session with Facebook product manager Loren Cheng, who will be answering questions about how the service works, with lots of time for discussion and Q&A.

Remember, to use Facebook Graph Search, you have to request entrance into Facebook’s beta here. You can also read more about how it works in our related articles below.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Facebook | Facebook: Facebook Search | Top News

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • http://blog.clayburngriffin.com/ Clayburn Griffin

    It doesn’t feel like it will be all that useful. I just wish I had it so I could see for myself. It seems good for searching things you probably shouldn’t be searching, but I don’t think you can put your results to much practical use. Recommendations? Just ask your friends directly or use the many services already available.

    Plus, people with stupid friends are screwed.

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    This, along with constant ‘sponsored ads’ and ‘pages I might Like” are the reason my Facebook was deactivated. This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.

  • Rugby

    Still cannot search public posts using Graph Search. Useless!

  • http://www.socialbakers.com/ Michal Smetana

    I think that with the introduction of Facebook Graph Search there are once again many opportunities – even for small businesses – to take action and prepare for the global rollout of this new feature. There is really a lot of potential.

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