Is it the moment you have all been waiting for? Or the one you have all been dreading? Like it or not Facebook Graph Search is rolling out  to the UK masses. Announced in January the US has been the testing ground for this for some time. Updates to the look of Facebook are always polarising, and I whole heartedly predict there will be literally thousands of protest groups formed along the lines of ‘switch Facebook back to the way it was’. We’ve seen it all before, Graph Search is here to stay!

(Quick Tip: If you don’t have it yet, change your language settings to English – US, and you will be able to give it a whirl)

So what does this mean for the average user and how does it effect Social from a business perspective?

Well we’re going to see a few changes, the first being cosmetic:

From this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 10.39.16

 

To this:Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 10.38.55

 

So other than a cosmetic change what does it mean?

Search now allows you to call up all kind of content from your friends and that other people have left public. For instance you might search for ‘Photos I have liked’ or ‘Thai restaurants my friends like’.

Whilst being nominally a good idea and quite handy, this obviously throws up a few privacy concerns. You now set privacy on a per post basis. Find out a bit more here:

Use privacy shortcuts (http://newsroom.fb.com/ImageLibrary/detail.aspx?MediaDetailsID=4294) and Activity Log (https://www.facebook.com/me?sk=allactivity) to review who can see the things you share.

Facebook has some more info on it’s blog: https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-uk/a-new-way-to-search-is-coming-personalised-to-you/565221936884801

 

Okay I’m using Facebook for business – how does Graph Search affect me?

Well in a number of ways –

Some of the functions:

  • Search delivers answers not links (such as photos, people, places etc)
  • It uses natural language for search rather than keywords, that generate personalised social results
  • It generates local recommendations versus local results, using likes , check-ins etc to generate more socially relevant results

So:

  • Your Facebook pages will be more discoverable, and more of a destination than in the past
  • There are sure to be advertising opportunities, although not announced yet
  • Amount of Likes will actually determine how high you come up search (giving a more valid reason for all those ‘likes’ chasers!)

Read more here: http://www.vml.com/news-and-trends/articles/facebook-graph-search-what-brands-need-know

So what about this ‘new’ news feed then?

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 10.54.10

Good question, Facebook have been threatening to roll this out for a while, but at the moment it seems very ad hoc. You can sign up for an early trial here: https://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed I’ve been signed up for ages and don’t have it – some of my friends who didn’t sign up have. So it’s a lottery. The apps all have the new look.