The announcement stressed the social aspects of the Open Graph, where, depending on privacy settings, people can search for and find anything ever posted by friends on Facebook, including Page likes, personal profile information, check-ins and photos. For example, “single friends who like to cook,” or “friends who work for Google,” or “Italian Restaurants in Chicago that friends like.” The search can be done in natural language.
Those who use Facebook personal pages should review privacy settings on their sites to make sure they are not sharing too much. (Privacy settings are accessed the homepage>Profile>Activity Log.) However, business owners should be looking to expand their information and activity on Facebook, posting more often with the goal of gathering more “likes,” “shares,” and “comments” on their posts. They should also be trying to get as many people to “like” their page as possible. All of this expands their reach and makes it more likely that people searching for products or services they offer will find them – and not their competitors.
In addition, Zuckerberg stated that searches for things outside the purview of Facebook’s Graph Search would return results from Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and stated that the two companies had worked together on integrating social search into Bing. This gives an added dimension to the Graph search by presenting information from the Internet as a whole. While Google has nothing to worry about now, for some, Facebook may be the first stop when searching for products and services on the web.
Testimonials and good reviews have always been important to a company’s overall marketing strategy. This Facebook feature will, in essence, make any page “like” a good review. In other words, when someone “likes” a business page and one of their friends searches for the products or services offered by that business, the results become a personal recommendation from a friend.
The Graph Search function is still in beta testing. Those who want to be beta users can request to be put on the Waiting List. However, the feature will soon be rolled out to the public.