Facebook’s beta launch of Graph Search this week raises the question of whether will people start turning to Facebook as their search engine rather than using Google. Besides being excited that Facebook has finally realized that their search feature sucks wind, it’s interesting to see how they are going to take on the search space and The Google. Search has been up Facebook’s sleeve for a while. If you’re going to launch a search product in the year 2013, it better be damn good and be a damn good reason for someone to stop Googling it and start Facebooking it.
Given the amount of time people spend on Facebook, it almost makes sense that, if search is done right, Facebook can become a search hub. The launch of Graph Search uses the power of the Facebook graph to power robust searches based on everything from photos, personal info, friends, interests, likes and all of the other gobs of data Facebook has on all of us. For example, today, the Facebook search query “TV shows my friends watch” resulted in 2 friends I can connect to (no thanks) and a list of TV shows and personalities that I follow (okay, I am a Keeping with the Kardashian’s fan.) Helpful? Not so much.
The future of search with Facebook Graph Search promises that the same inquiry will result in a list of all the shows my friends watch. Now, that’s kind of cool…and helpful. (The Techcrunch post does a great job of showing the new feature and how it will work.)There’s a deeper connection that results in Facebook Graph Search than the results you get on Google. With the new search feature when I search on Facebook, there is a connection to my friends. To knowing more about who they are en masse – how can my friends begin to help me discover new content. It take search to a new level of discovery – beyond what Google can do, even with their powerful algorithms. Today on Google, the search for “TV shows my friends like” results in the TV show Friends, along with a bunch of YouTube crap. Not so much in the way of discovery there.
If Facebook gets their nifty new search right, it could change the way we search, the way we discover, the way we understand our friends, the way we choose to get answers to our questions. Facebook and Google…the race for which graph and what data is going to win. Who are you betting on in the search race?