Social media giant Facebook announces their latest addition to their service: Graph Search. Graph Search is rather different from normal web searching, and adds to the search experience by allowing users to search the web by using combined phrases instead of just keywords, receiving content related to those phrases. Graph Search seeks to modify everyone’s search experience by making and bringing web searching to a more personal level.
Graph Search works by learning more about the user. Unlike normal web searching, where you type in specific keywords and getting content that best matches those keywords, Graph Search works by typing in phrases, returning results based more on about the user than a general matching of keywords. For example, as opposed to typing in “trail running”, you can type in “my friends who like trail running” to get people, places and other related things that have been shared all over Facebook. It bases its search results on the user’s personal information, and can provide a better service by getting to know more about the user. It uses your likes, interests, relationships and other personal things to give you the search results you want. All that personal information is used to provide the user the best possible results.
Graph Search seeks to change the face of searching through personalized search. It would be a whole different level, allowing faster and easier searches, and would be a step up from the usual, normal searching we’re used to as we won’t need to spend time searching for information on the best restaurants to eat in; personalized search would allow you to quickly get information based on where your friends ate the other day. Searching would be made easy and hassle-free and thanks to this idea, Facebook may in fact revolutionize searching, possibly making search engine giant Google quake in their boots.
While Graph Search seeks to innovate, to bring searching to the next level, it isn’t met with a warm welcome. Problems arise with the idea of personalized search, namely the user’s privacy. Some critics say that Graph Search can be just as dangerous as it is innovative. While it would be a good idea for people to search and find results based around their friends’ interests, relationships and the like, there exists the possibility of sharing more than what we want to share. Basically, we all have some things that we don’t want to show our friends and the other people we know. There exists the possibility of “over-sharing” our stuff with others; our friends would probably find something that would turn them off. This would mean that Facebook risks exposing users in their quest to innovate searching. While there are privacy settings that the user can use to control what he or she can share, it’s still not perfect, and the user would still be unsure who can see what.
As Graph Search was only announced recently, it’s still unsure of how this will affect online searching. It has its problems, but it also has the potential to be big. Will it flop, or will it revolutionize the Internet? We just have to wait and see.