Graph Search – coming to a Facebook near you

If your Facebook language is set to US English, you might find that your account has added a new feature from today.

Facebook is rolling out Graph Search, a new search tool that will allow users to quickly find out information from across the site. Essentially, it’s an attempt tokeep hold of an active user base by keeping them on the site for longer.

In some ways, Graph Search is simply a natural extension to the News Feed. In the book about her experiences while at Facebook, The Boy Kings, Katherine Losse writes:

“The general concept of News Feed was simple: An algorithm was now surfacing content that it believed, based on your activity on the site (what you looked at), you would find interesting.”

Now, instead of having to follow a social graph containing your friends’ activities, Graph Search opens up your information even further. You can ask Facebookquestions about your friends and find out the results, quickly.

Facebook would argue that they are making it easier to find useful information that’s relevant to you. Say, for example, you’re planning a holiday to Istanbul and you’re looking for somewhere to stay. You’ve gone through Trip Advisor and every hotel that you’ve looked at has one of those delightful one-star reviews (“I was sitting by the side of the glorious pool when I suddenly saw one of the catering staff push a little child into the pool. DO NOT RECOMMEND.”).

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