Facebook started trialling graphsearch in January 2013 with a limited beta rollout. With the help of the feedback from those testing the program, it is now ready to hit the millions of facebook users in facebook land.
First cab off the rank will be those in the USA and with English US language settings, but the rest of the world will not be far behind.
In many ways, graphsearch is really exciting. It will allow you to find services and business close by and help you find long lost friends, lets you search for locations and people in them, depending on the original privacy settings of the posts and profiles. Search is faster, it makes suggestions and links to BING to improve results when you can’t find them on facebook.
This makes is a good opportunity for you to have a really good search of your information and make changes to settings on albums, location check ins and the like before the roll out. Certainly continue to monitor your content after the roll out if you run out of time!
What graph search can do:
- Lets you search for people and friends with similar interests (for example people who like a particular artist, musician, film, tv show)
- Search for friends in particular locations (useful when travelling)
- Search for photographs, for example if you enter “photographs of dogs” you will find photos your friends have posted as well as any public ones.
- Search for themes such as films watched by dentists (if occupation is provided on a profile)
- SEARCH RESULTS WILL BE DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE – depending on their privacy settings and the privacy settings of their friends.
- Combine any of the above (for example photos of people in New York with dogs)
What it can’t (yet):
- Access individual status updates (this one will have some big consequences for some people)
- Doesn’t work on mobile apps
- It can’t leverage from third party applications such as instagram.
What you should do:
Everyone: Start reviewing your content and “spring clean” your pages. Get some friends together and sort out your facebook privacy. It really helps to have a friend there to check what comes up on a search. You could even make a bit of a party out of it. Have a last laugh before you remove content and tags!
Don’t be afraid to ask someone to untag you or remove photographs. Please ask politely.
Use your activity log (you will find access to your activity log on the right side of your timeline cover pic) to review information.
Parents : You MUST sit down with your children who use facebook and go through this post and the settings together. Have a conversation about just where things might end up. Issues can arise when teens for example have tagged a photo of someone (whether will ill intent or in teen “fun”) with a word like “dog” or “pig” and suddenly a search for pigs or dogs brings up photos of people. On one hand, at least you find them and can take action, on the other hand, there may be serious consequences particularly is inappropriate language or degrogatry terms have been used against a person.
Schools: Review what is being said about the school. In many ways this search is a bonus as it will expose those sites which are not officially run by the school and enable the school a chance to “clean up” and if you don’t already have an official page, then it’s time to “own” the space. iRespectOnline can assist schools in these matters. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Businesses: Make sure you and your staff are only posting relevant material to your pages and review for spam. If you haven’t developed an engagement policy for your business, it’s time to! It’s a great time to consider your online reputation and make sure your brand is being portrayed accurately online. If you would like our help, email us at email@example.com with your requirements.
Facebook have put together comprehensive instructions and information on graph search, so head over to their page here and start checking out your settings now! Please drop back to let us know your opinion and any concerns you may have with facebook graph search. The background story behind graph search is also pretty interesting, so if you like to know how it came about, this post from The Next Web is informative.
Author Futureproof Your Kids