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Facebook Graph Search: Promising but Flawed


Facebook Graph Search: Promising but Flawed


By Nick Crowe


Last week Facebook introduced its new search system, graph search. The new search feature allows Facebook users to make connections between people, their profiles, and their interests. One of the features largest benefits is the ability to search for people more specifically. For example, you could search for people of a certain age who live in Miami or any other city. It can also be used to find recommendations for doctors, restaurants, businesses etc. This new addition was received well last Tuesday at Facebook’s Menlo Park Campus. However, the new system is far from being complete.

Other sites which Facebook may be attempting to compete with such as LinkedIn won’t be disappearing any time soon. For that to happen, Facebook would need to completely change the appearance and appeal of their site. One of the main reasons the new search engine isn’t yet complete is the issue of the like button. Most people don’t use the like button on businesses and restaurants enough to make Facebook the recommendation site it seems to be hoping to become. Yelp, for example, has many more reviews, ratings, and comments for restaurants than Facebook would be able to achieve in the near future.
At its latest press event, Facebook demonstrated how Graph Search could be used to find job candidates. This seems to be an example of a way in which this feature could be immediately effective. The only problem is that people don’t usually update their profiles like a resume. Most users’ profiles do have enough information to display one’s interests and background which could turn Facebook into a way to meet people online, a Match.com of sorts. There is still time to improve the way the search engine functions which could make all the feature’s potential reality.

At this stage in Graph Search’s development, the amount Facebook has accomplished is impressive. With a few more improvements, this search engine could turn Facebook into three or four useful websites at once.