No one can possibly argue that we have heavily relied on search engines for the past decade and it’s no secret that Google is dominating in that arena. It first started with static search, then the results becomes more local, and soon after, the search results become relevant towards personal taste. After the launching of Google Plus, we can clearly see that search engines have become more social. However, we all know that the website to turn to for a social network fix is Facebook, and they seem to have made their way in after the execution of the tie between search engines and social networking.
Facebook has always been deemed a potential rival for Google; many might go as far as to say that Google Plus was a defensive move towards Facebook, who integrated its strongest weapon to gain market share in social networks. But after the release of Facebook Graph Search, Facebook made a statement voicing their plan to attack the foundation that booted Google: the capacity to search. More importantly, both companies seem to have bet their horses on social networking being the next generation of search engines.
It makes sense, as there are many things that you can do by combining social and search aspect into one innovation. For example, with this new combination of the forces, you can easily Facebook search “Restaurants my friends have been to,” "People who live in my city,” and when we get creative with the results, we can easily yield “Single women in my city,” “My friends who dated Ashton Kutcher,” etc. As online information evolves, so will personal information.
Many may be wondering if this evolution of the Internet will threaten our right to privacy. That’s a question that is still being argued: “With graph search you can look up anything shared with you on Facebook, and others can find stuff you’ve shared with them. Each person sees unique results,” explained on their main page. Facebook does allow you to choose what can be searched and what can not, but just like their other privacy policies, this one may contain loopholes and will most likely require some heavy revisiting.
The potential of Facebook Graph Search also possesses a threat to the potential social discovery market. “The goal of Graph Search is to help you discover new people, places and things,” states the Facebook Graph Search privacy page. This is exactly what existing players such as Skout, Tagged, and many other dating sites do. It wouldn’t be surprising to find that some new startups might build dating sites purely off Facebook Graph Search.
While we are waiting for the details to be hashed out, Facebook has allowed early adopters who are interested to sign up for the beta waiting list. Will Facebook Graph Search become the new face of search engines? Only time will tell.