Facebook has announced the implementation of a new search feature that will help you find people if you don’t know their names, or want to look them up via certain criteria. Putting in a query like “People named Andrew who are friends with Jacquie,” would help find that person you bumped into way back when.
Called Graph Search, Mark Zuckerberg has described the service as being focused around: people, photos, places and interests as opposed to traditional search engines. The thought is that you can parse through your friends or acquaintances for certain interests or places they’ve visited. You could look up how many of your friends have visited certain restaurants or ones that are fans of certain TV shows.
This of course is a classic example of modern online “friendship,” where apparently you don’t know what your “friends” are into because you don’t really know them that well.
As always with a new Facebook feature, privacy is being touted, as Zuckerberg and pals were keen to point out that only information shared publicly or with those people doing the search, can be used for it. So once again those that take no interest or don’t understand privacy options, could get caught out in a random search query.
As wired points out, this new search feature somewhat seems like an attempt by Facebook to get users to further fill out their interests, places they frequent and provide the social network with more information about its user base – presumably so it can then use that for more targeted advertising.
Of course it could backfire and those that don’t want to be involved with “friends'” searches may delete information about themselves.
KitGuru Says: If Facebook wasn’t so useful for organising small groups of people, or keeping up with relatives I’d rather not talk to, I think I’d have deleted my profile long ago. What do you guys think of this new search feature? Doesn’t seem like something I’d have much use for.