On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search, the newest pillar feature to be added to Facebook.

Graph Search, now in beta, will provide search results in the context of your Facebook relationships.

Kari Lee, Engineering Manager at Facebook, describes typical results today in a search for “apple.”  She points out that you might get results for Apple technology, or you might get results for the fruit, but either way, your search results won’t differ much from anyone else searching on the same keyword or phrase.

Graph Search is revolutionary because it will use social intelligence to deliver unique search results.

 

The Wall Street Journal offers these Graph Search examples:

  • “Music that people who like Mitt Romney like.”
  • “Movies my friends in San Francisco like.”
  • “Photos my friends took in the 1990s.”
  • “Friends of friends who are men and single in Palo Alto.”
  • “Languages my friends from college speak.”

It may be a few years before Graph Search is developed to its full potential, but in the meantime, it’s shaking up the way we think about searching online.

The Graph Search Impact on Google:

Facebook’s search bar uses Bing to deliver search results that aren’t directly provided by Facebook.  This puts the heat on the competition between search engines Bing and Google.

While Google’s success stems from data, Bing’s partnership with Facebook will give Bing an edge on the social front.  This is critical, as Google’s answer to Facebook, Google+, is “years late to collect a massive social graph.”

The Graph Search Impact on Online Privacy:

Facebook’s privacy settings have been the brunt of controversy before, and Graph Search reopens a Pandora’s box of concerns.  On TechRadar, Gary Marshall provides a somewhat humorous take on Graph Search and privacy concerns.

“[Facebook] wants to know what you buy, what you listen to, what you like and where you go, and it wants to share that information with everyone,” Marshall writes. “If you think Facebook is noisy, annoying and invasive now, just wait until Social Graph search becomes its bread and butter,” he adds.

If Facebook users want to take full advantage of social graph technology with Graph Search, they’ll have to be open to sharing a lot more information.

What Graph Search means for LinkedIn:

Recruiting and staffing generates a big chunk of LinkedIn’s revenue.  With searches like, “Friends of Friends who work for PwC in Chicago, IL,” Graph Search will be a powerful tool for recruiting and staffing professionals, driving them away from LinkedIn into the arms of Facebook as their social recruiting tool of choice.

Can’t wait to search for “Restaurants in St. Louis that my Friends like”?

Cringing at the thought of losing more privacy in the name of social media?

Either way, if Graph Search takes off you can bet it will affect how you search, and the technology you’ll use.

Want to be at the forefront of Graph Search?  You can sign up as a beta user to become an early adopter.