Facebook Official Rolls Out Controversial Graph Search Feature for All Users

If you ignored Facebook’s Graph Search when it was first announced at the beginning of the year, it’s time to give the controversial new search engine another look, because it’s rolling out to all U.S. accounts over the next few weeks. Whether you like the search engine will depend on how much you want to find out about your friends and what they like – and how comfortable you are with your own info turning up in people’s search results.

Facebook is improving its search capabilities with the new Graph Search engine
A Facebook server room. Image Credit: Facebook

With more than a billion users, Facebook has a treasure trove of personal data: what restaurants users frequent, what stores they shop at, what they like to buy, where they’ve been, and where they are now. Facebook is aiming to use that data to make its searches more useful. Want to know the best place in town for sushi? Graph Search can tell you what restaurants your friends like. Looking for photos of the beach? Facebook can put your friends’ beach photos at the top of the search results.

Facebook sees Graph Search as a much-improved engine over its current tool, and has been promoting Graph Search’s speed and the relevance of its results. Critics worry that the increased reliance on user data (and its ability to dredge up old info and pictures) will be handy for marketers and, more importantly, stalkers. But the search engine doesn’t give users access to data that they didn’t already have permission to see. Facebook has enhanced its privacy settings over the years, and you can configure your privacy settings to protect data that you don’t want shared.

Facebook has tested the new tool with tens of millions of users in recent months, without such problems. Now that the general public is getting Graph Search, we’ll see if the new search engine causes an uproar – or gets a warm reception.
Comments
RWilliams one year ago

It's for reasons like these that I'm careful about what I share on Facebook. I never share where I'm eating (who the hell cares, to begin with?), nor "share" purchases I've made. I'm also careful about "liking" too much on Facebook; it's mostly just bands and sports things. Even that's probably too much information.

It just baffles me that a company can continue to introduce feature after feature that exposes its users more and more.

RCone one year ago

I didn't like it and FB want let you turn it off. You have to choose a different language to no longer have it. I'm now using British English. A word to the wise....

GarySmith one year ago

I live in Canada and don't have it yet.

deadmanet one year ago

It just get easier and easier to stop using FB. Just use it mostly now to follow what everyone else is doing. Don't post to much about my own personal things anymore.

Johnny3D one year ago

I only share what I want to share with people and only share information I'm okay being 'public'... the same goes with anything else I do on the internet. If I want something to remain private, I ensure that it does by not sharing that information.

Bottom line is... if you don't want something public; don't talk about it, write about it, or otherwise communicate it. Definitely refrain from posting it anywhere on the internet. Seems pretty simple to me.

BlackOpsPenguin one year ago

This is exactly why I either removed or never put up much personal information.

RCone one year ago

I didn't like it and FB want let you turn it off. You have to choose a different language to no longer have it. I'm now using British English. A word to the wise....

GarySmith one year ago

I live in Canada and don't have it yet.

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