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Facebook Graph Search, Limitations and Comparisons

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Searching for people that like coffee or a hotel in London that your friends like? Facebook is giving now the possibility to search for this kind of interpersonal results by releasing their newest search algorithm based on Open Graph. Technically it’s a very interesting engine that use the database that naturally grew during the past years. At Menlo Park everybody seems pretty excited about this but is it a game changing factor for Facebook? Well, in my opinion not really. There are actually some elements that could be very useful for marketers and professionals but for the everyday users the search experience could seems a bit clumsy and most importantly limited… here’s why…

LIMITED SEARCH TASKS
What you can actually do with Graph search is to search for matching data from the Facebook profiles, search for likes and search for check-ins, nothing much more. At the moment you can search things like if one of your friend liked a pub that you would like to go too, or if there is for example someone on Facebook that graduated from the same university as you in the same year. it’s pretty clear that comparing this “search engine” to Google at this stage is still practically impossible and far from reality. What disappointed me the most after the launch of the platform is that there are not many search options for pictures (and there are many pictures out there!), a lot of potential that is still unused.

FRIENDS LIKES AND REALITY
Just For exemplify: How many of your friends clicked like on “Dogs”? but how many really like dogs? this is exactly the problem with the “Like” engine database, reality and so real life is not actually related to likes, that makes the search kind of limited and not precise.

WASTED GEO LOCATION
Another big disappointment came from geo location, what can help to know if your friend checked in at a restaurant but then you don’t know if he really liked and if he has any comment on that? Facebook team must work a lot on this crucial point.

CONFUSING SEARCH METHOD
Another problem is directly in contrast with Google, we are commonly asking questions of every type to Google that are commonly answered by the search engine enough accurately, Facebook has a different kind of search based on people’s informations that could be tricky for those how are new to this kind of search, maybe also a bit clumsy for many.

vs. YELP
As mentioned before the distance between Yelp and Facebook Graph Search is huge, the level of reviews and ratings is different as day and night, I think this should be one of the priorities for the Facebook team to create a geolocation search that gives informations about the business and not only about the check in itself.

vs. LINKEDIN
Searching for professionals on Facebook it’s actually an exciting and interesting features, of course the level of accuracy is not comparable to LinkedIn’s one but Graph Search is about people, and so it’s Facebook, and there are great margins for this kind of professionals seeking to grow.

vs. MATCHING WEBSITES
Many are already starting to use the new search method of Facebook as a match making engine, I didn’t studied actually the cases but what’s interesting is that at least people are trying to use Graph Search in many different and sometimes innovative ways, thing that could be , maybe, in the long term a successful factor for Facebook’s search engine… stay tuned!

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