Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the social network's new Graph Search
, which allows users to query Facebook information available to them.
Unlike a keyword search or search string -- read, "Google" -- Graph search mines information from the user's network to return results such as "friends who live in Toronto," "restaurants my friends like," or "bands my friends listen to."
Interestingly, there's a partnership element involving Microsoft's Bing
search engine, which will supply relevant information that's not part of the Facebook database (for example, local weather).
So ... should Google
be shaking in its boots?
No. At least, not right now. This is very narrow social search. Alive to user's privacy concerns, Facebook assures us that only the information you'd be able to see on Facebook anyway will be mined for the searches. It will be extremely useful in a social situation -- you've got concert tickets and you want to know if any of your friends would be interested -- but isn't suitable for the kind of general information search Google has become synonymous with. It does, however, perform a function that Google can't, so it's a good complement.
In an enterprise context, there could be some interesting use cases -- breaking down demographics and geography of followers, finding common interests to tailor promotions and incentives, etc.
How would you use Graph Search in your enterprise? Tell us in the comment box below.