Facebook announced “Graph Search”, a new exciting service which is all about people-powered results and enables users to discover content that has been shared with you on Facebook.
“Graph Social”, which, for the time being, is available globally to a small subset of users who use Facebook in US English, is a very interesting development for businesses. For, as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, argued, there is great potential for the social graph to benefit businesses and advertisers.
Therefore, we decided to gather some must-read material in order to help you understand everything you need to know about Facebook’s latest innovation. So, take a breath and let’s start!
What it is
Graph Search is a new and improved search experience that allows users to discover people, places, and things on Facebook. Whether you are a Page, place group, app or game, you and the content you share can appear in search results based on the information you have shared and the connections you have. No immediate action is required other than making sure your Page, place, or app is complete and up-to-date.
How it works
Now people can search the social graph, not just by name but also by categories or simple phrases. They can also find content, such as photos and videos that they may have missed. For example, people can find you based on phrases such as “hotels near the Eiffel Tower”, “sushi restaurants my friends have been to in London” or “videos of TV shows that my friends like”.
Relevant results are unique and different for everyone, based on their relationships and the information and content that has been shared with them.
Suggestions will still appear in the search bar when people are looking for specific people, places, or things. Searches, which do not match a particular result, display a search results page with the results that are most relevant to the user. Depending on the search and type of result, results on the search results page may include social context, category, address, likes, ratings, active users, similar Pages, or a description about the business. Results display a higher photo resolution and more information than our previous search bar and results page. We recommend a minimum 620x620 pixel resolution.
What you can do
1. Make sure your Page, Place of App information is complete and up to date
- The name, category, vanity URL, and information you share in the About section all help a user find your business and should be shared on Facebook
- If you have a location or local place Page, update your address to make sure you can appear as a result when a user is searching for a specific location
- Upload a 620x620 pixel resolution profile photo
- Share content directly on Facebook; only photos and videos shared on your Page can appear as a result for photo and video-related searches
2. Strengthen your connections
People who engage with your Page or app do matter. Results are ordered based on a user’s relationships with his or her friends, so it’s not just the number of fans or users but also the strength of those connections that are important. For example, if a user searches for restaurants in a particular city, those that are most popular with his/her closest friends will be displayed first. Additionally, results that are similar to a searcher’s existing likes and interests may be ranked higher.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where and when is this available?
Starting January 15th, Graph Search will become available globally to a small subset of users who use Facebook in US English. The limited beta period allows us to continue to improve the product as we launch this more broadly.
How is this different from other search engines?
Graph Search is all about people-powered results. Users discover content that has been shared with them on Facebook, including public content. Results are based on the strength of their connections and are different for every user.
Can I advertise in the search results?
As in the existing search bar, Sponsored Results are still available in Graph Search. Sponsored Results allow you to promote results in the search bar and will appear whether or not users have Graph Search. We are not launching any new ad capabilities at this time, and there are no ads in the search results page.
Can offsite links be found in Graph Search?
Only objects shared on Facebook can appear as a result in the search bar. We may also make query suggestions in the search bar that trigger web searches. Web searches are powered by Bing and are similar to results on Bing.com.
Why don’t I appear in search results?
Search results are personalized and different for every user: each person may see different results based on what they are intended to see. Search results also adhere to privacy controls around content – so not all users have permission to view the same content. Additionally, search results are ranked by the connections each person has, so the people, places, and things that are most popular among that user’s connections are ranked higher.
How can I get access?
All Facebook users can learn more and request to join the beta by signing up here: https://www.facebook.com/graphsearch.