What is Facebook really aiming for with Graph Search?

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Facebook’s announcement of the ‘Graph Search’ might have been one of the most unusual of announcements, but it certainly wasn’t the most surprising either. For a while, Mark Zuckerberg and his team had been working hard to introduce a much better search functionality to facebook. But, what could be facebook’s long term goal for this new potential cash cow? Is it to take on web search giants like google and bing?

graph-search

Facebook seems to think otherwise. In fact they believe Web Search and Graph search are completely different, claiming that they serve a different purpose:

” … Graph Search and web search are very different. Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “hip hop”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. With Graph Search you combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook. We believe they have very different uses.

Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public…”

Yeah right! Okay, we believe you facebook.

Web search might be ‘different’ from Graph search in the eyes of Zuckerberg and his team, and although most content isn’t public, but that’s only for now. It only takes a few tweaks in the algorithm as well as the terms of use, to make it an entirely different ball game.

Web search giants, Google and Bing might have dominated the game for while, but in the not so distant future, facebook’s graph search will surely disturb and disrupt that dominance. However, ‘Graph search‘ might not necessarily compete immediately on the same scale, but all the ingredients are there to suggest their long-term outlook for this product is to be the ultimate go to place for search on the web. Think about it, can you possibly imagine any website, at the present time, without a facebook ‘Like’ or ‘facebook share’ button?

Here’s a short video of Zuckerberg and his facebook team explaining what facebook graph search is all about — it should at least, give you an idea of what and where they are aiming with this product.

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