Even though Mark Zuckerberg dubs it as the third pillar of Facebook and the launch of their search feature was announced with bells and whistles, the general public didn’t display too much curiosity about the recent Graph Search launch. Perhaps the lack of interest comes from the misunderstanding that Graph Search was designed to challenge the Black Knight of the search engine market, namely Google. In reality, the feature is simply focused on enhancing the Facebook users’ experience by providing relevant info regarding personal searches based on the individual connections associated the profiles.
Wait, isn’t this a violation of privacy?
Over the past two years, Facebook users made it a habit out of questioning whether the new features introduced by the social network represent a violation of privacy. While Facebook provided plenty of opportunities for users to be legitimately concerned about privacy, this time they addressed the topic up-front. To summarize, the search results that will pop up in the Graph Search are gathered from the entirety of the information available to everyone or from the data you allow the public to see.
Even though Facebook is being honest regarding this issue, it is still scary to realize that somebody can find you on the social network due to a photo that you were tagged in a while ago and completely forgot about it. Indubitably, some malevolent individuals can take advantage of this grey area, so the public’s concern is worth investigating.
What does this mean for companies and marketers?
Unlike the private individual who might have sound reasons for contesting this approach, businesses and marketers can actually benefit from Graph Search. In fact, considering that at this point you can find a profile by introducing vague terms in Facebook’s search bar, it is safe to assume that this type of contextual search has a huge potential in boosting brand awareness and sales overall.
While Graph Search appears to evolve like the new golden goose of the online business world, for the time being it contains several limitations for marketers, namely:
It does not constitute an improvement to Facebook’s on-site search, like many internet marketers out there hoped for.
While most people would find this normal considering this is the age of mobile devices, Graph Search does not include a specific mobile version. Despite the fact that Zuckerberg announced they will release the mobile version as soon as possible, this blunder could be classified as a rookie mistake.
Because the features do not include API, developers and companies are unable to tap the full potential of Graph’s data and capabilities.
The open actions fall outside the Graph Search results for the time being.
It’s confusing, but you should be prepared
Considering the aforementioned setbacks, you might be tempted to believe that Graph Search was actually launched prematurely. In addition, you might actually be convinced that you shouldn’t waste time and effort with the feature, since it is most likely full of bugs. However, if there is anything the marketing world has learned from the Google+ experience, then that is you should always stay updated and be prepared.
Share your experience with Facebook’s Graph Search in the comments below. What are your predictions?