Facebook Graph Search has gone live to anyone with their account set to US English language after more than six months in beta.
UK Facebook users will start to see a Facebook Graph search announcement pop up on their Facebook feed, allowing other users to utilise each individual’s data in a site wide search function.
Graph Search will enable users to search for places their friends have visited, who likes which bands and who’s been tagged in photos.
Having been in beta testing for over six months, UK and US users will soon have access to the service as Facebook Graph Search is rolled out.
Users will be prompted to change their privacy settings to filter what parts of their profile shows up in the Facebook Graph Search, which can pick up details like the restaurants they’ve visited, their relationship status and what bands they’ve liked. Basically any information they’ve ever posted on Facebook.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has always maintained Graph Search isn’t intended to be a replacement for Google or any other web search engine.
“Web search is designed to take any open-ended query and give you links that might have answers. Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide an answer.”
Of course, Facebook is intending people to use Graph Search to find information based on brands and for appropriate searches. For example, Facebook has suggested the service could be useful for those on their travels. They could search for “Bars liked in Barcelona by my friend” or even look for someone to take to a gig by who’s liked that specific band on Facebook.
There’s no doubt the Facebook privacy issue will raise its head once people realise how much of their information can be broadcast by Graph Search. Facebook is already alerting people to their options for privacy settings before Graph Search is initiated, and even released the YouTube video below warning users.
“Remember, hidden photos still appear elsewhere on Facebook, such as on friends’ timelines or in search,” says Julia in the Facebook Graph Search video.
Those untagged photos may be making a re-appearance.
Next, read our review of Facebook Home.