Graph Search: Well Played Facebook, But…

Facebook came up with a ‘new new thing’ yesterday called Graph Search, that allows its users to perform social searches. I could try to explain what that means, or I could just give you a link to a crisp demo that explains the whole thing in less than 15 seconds:

graph search

Needless to say, this is pretty cool stuff. What makes it even cooler is when you consider what search has been like on Facebook for the past couple of years. What turned me off was articles like this that tried to suggest that Facebook had used Graph Search to take a bite out of Google. What in the world?!

There’s no arguing that with Graph Search, Facebook is providing a valuable service that is currently outside the capabilities of Google. Notwithstanding, when it comes to search, Google is still king and will remain so for a very long time. People aren’t going to stop Googling (I mean this thing has become a verb!) stuff simply because they can now explore search results recommended by their friends. Yes Graph Search provides web search results from Bing if it finds nothing on Facebook, but Bing is not Google!

How this is most likely going to play out is that users will sample the quality of the results provided by Graph Search, and then decide if they want to use it to augment their standard Google searches. If Graph Search succeeds, I see it becoming not just a way to find new and interesting things, but a new and substantial revenue stream for Facebook. By the time users begin searching for restaurants and shops on Facebook, marketers will be falling over themselves to get in front of this new marketing channel. Until that happens, Facebook has got nothing on Google.

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