Newest Facebook Innovation: Graph Search

                                                                by Lindsey Reemsnyder 

Recently, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced plans of broadening the social networking site’s boundaries with Graph Search. It will be a new search engine that provides personalized search results based off of an individual’s networks. There are many opinions concerning this new search tool. Some analysts think Graph Search needs to be successful after the stock-market shares plunged for Facebook.  Since Google has proved search is a very valuable market, it is “No wonder Zuckerberg wants a slice. Given that his company knows exactly what one billion people say, think and do, this search move looks smart” (Spanier). Some even find it “everything from a ‘killer app’ that will crush companies ranging from Google to Yelp, while others see it as a powerful new ad targeting technology or nothing more than a glorified extension of the ‘like’” (Satell). 

Many students of the College of Natural Sciences have opinions on the Graph Search as well, and quite the variety of opinions at that. Cell and Molecular Biology major Juan Herrejon says, “I don’t know much about graph search, but from what I’ve gathered, I think it would be a really cool feature that would take social networking to the next level. It makes sense that Facebook would release something like this, since it integrates all of its features. I think it would be useful, but also a little scary because stalking would be so much easier.” Biology major Maisha Rumman says of the search engine, “I think having graph search would be interesting and useful to have. For me I think it’s appealing to find out how many of my friends like or do the same things I do because it’s not always apparent based on their Facebook profiles – I might have to browse through their “likes” or “about me” section to find out. Although I guess Graph Search could be seen as creepy, I really would like it. I find it fascinating to find out what kinds of people like a certain thing or if there’s a relationship between where people live and what they like, etc.”

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Nutrition major Chanel Zadeh does not think Graph Search sounds helpful, “I really only every use Google out of all other search engines that already exist. I doubt I would bother with trying out Facebook’s search engine.” Biology major Jasmine Gonzales seems to agree: “I don’t think Graph Search would be useful to me. I am not one to share much on Facebook, so I doubt I would come up on any searches. I don’t think I would search many things, it just sounds like another addition to Facebook just to make stalking easier.” Neurobiology major Alyssa Pappas says, “I think it will face a lot of criticism and won’t be widely used at all. Personally, I’ll stick with Google!”

Concerning Google, Biology major Jasneet Singh says, “I don’t think Graph Search will compete directly with Bing/Google. Graph Search includes results from Bing (Microsoft owns part of Facebook). I’d use graph search for finding things my friends have liked such as music or restaurants if I want to explore new places. For more general searches, I’d stick with Google since Google Search is more developed and Facebook is just starting out.” Biology major Zaid Mahmood could not be more indifferent about it, saying “Honestly, I don’t really care much for Facebook especially after the timeline update. I doubt I would every use search tool like Graph Search anyway.” It will be interesting to see how Graph Search plays out for Facebook.

Sources:

Satell, Greg. “Why Facebook’s Graph Search Really Does Matter: Big Data + NLP.” Opinion. Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Forbes 4 February 2013: Technology. Google. Web. 4 February 2013.

Spanier, Gideon. “It’s personal – Facebook to take on Google over searching.” Opinion. The Evening Standard (London) 16 January 2013: Business 42,43. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 28 January 2013.

Staying Motivated -- A Tidbit from Dr. Brent Iverson

Letter from the Editor