When it comes to Marketing with Twitter and Facebook, nothing is more important than the knowledge of how users interact with those services. Twitter hasn’t been making many major changes, but Facebook is constantly implementing new things and letting (forcing) users to deal with them. Their newest feature is an updated search called “Graph Search.”
Graph Search represents Facebook’s aim for the future. It appears that they really do want to compete with search engines like Google, at least for some subjects. It’s not a web search per se, it’s a little more finely honed. You would use Graph Search to find things that already exist on Facebook’s network. Mostly, you can search for people, photos, places and interests, which actually covers a lot of what people use search engines for in the first place.
As an example, you could search for TV shows that are watched by fans of Chevrolet. You could search for the favorite pages of friends of friends. You could search for pictures of cars from a particular city. You can also go by social cues, and look for restaurants in your area that are liked by your friends. Basically, any way you can think of combining the data available to Facebook, you can search that way.
If your search absolutely stumps Facebook, then you’ll be given results from Bing instead. This will do a lot to bolster Bings slow rise out of obscurity, but won’t damage Google too much, at least in the short run.
This will have a lot of implications for both users and businesses. As a business owner, you’ll be able to perform clever searches and find prospective customers. As a customer, you’ll be able to comb through the grit and find the businesses that have strong, positive social cues and fit your needs.
We’ll keep on top of the updates (Graph Search is still in beta) and figure out all the things that Graph Search will ultimately be capable of. In the meantime, Google probably isn’t afraid, but you can bet they’re taking notice.
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