The possibility of a Facebook search engine has been giving Google the sweats for quite some time now. The search giant may be the most powerful Internet company in the world, but Zuck and Co. have something that it needs more than anything: mountains of valuable personal user data, enter Facebook Graph Search.
Big G has long feared that Facebook would eventually figure out a way to harness that info to create a superior search product, and it appears that day has finally arrived. When Facebook unveiled Graph Search in mid Jan ’13, it was heralded as a revolution for the search industry. Fast forward a week, a few floggings from high-profile news outlets, and a Tumblr parody account, and Facebook’s supposed “game-changer” is shaping up to be more like a bad Internet meme.
A Different Kind of Search Experience
Facebook’s plan was to build a new kind of search for the web: a multidimensional tool that would hunt down people, places, and things for users based upon complex query strings.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation of Graph Search during the new feature’s unveiling in a press event last week:
“In general, Web search is designed to take any open-ended query and return to you links that may have answers to the question that you might be trying to ask. Now, Graph Search is very different. Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and return to you the answer, not links to other places where you might get the answer.”
Zuck also noted that Facebook teamed up with Bing to create Graph Search, and the two tech titans designed it to answer queries about people, places, and things. Users can search using a variety of filters, such as “liked by” or “place type.” Here’s a couple of example searches that Facebook offers up for users on its official promo:
* “Restaurants in London my friends have been to”
* “People who like cycling and are from my hometown”
Sounds pretty cool, right? Yea, it did – but then came the Tumblr account.