Today Facebook announced the new Graph Search. This is not a keyword search like Google it is more of an asked a question search. For example you might ask; “what disaster movies do my friends like”. Facebook will then come back with an answer to that query. It will only give you information that has been shared publicly and with you by your friends. I thought it looked interesting and it had possibilities but until I actually get to try it myself I will not make a final judgment on it.
I have to say that my first thought when I was following the live blog this morning was that this was just another way to get people to stay on Facebook even more. In another word this is just another brick in the wall. The fact that this graph search will be integrated with Bing makes this even more so. A question just occurred to me if I should share something to a friend does that information then become available to their friends in a search query. I believe it will, which is all the more reason to be careful on what you share on Facebook. I also think that people need to retrain themselves on how to do search. They are going to have to learn how to search by asking questions. Some analyst see this as a challenge to Google and Amazon
Julien Blin, an analyst covering consumer electronics and mobile broadband for Infonetics, took the argument a step further. He told CNET that Graph Search could become a major threat to Google and Amazon once it becomes available on mobile phones and incorporates the Facebook Gifts product.
“We could imagine a case where a Facebook user is searching for ‘friends who bought shoes in San Francisco.’ Then [Graph Search] would pull up a list of shoe stores with comments and reviews from friends,” he said. “The Facebook user would have the option to click on the Facebook ‘Want’ button to buy the items, or even gift the item to other users via Facebook Gifts. This type of service would compete directly with Amazon.”-Cnet.
I am skeptical, I may search Facebook for the local restaurants my friends like, but I am going to also see what the critics say about it. I love my friends but their idea of what is good and mine are definitely not the same.
There is a limited beta rolling out on January 16 a limited number of English-speaking Facebook users. It will take several months before becomes available to the general public.