Facebook Graph Search Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
The Sprocket Report
An article Breanne wrote about Facebook Graph Search back in 2013 still gets an astonishing amount of traffic, so we thought it would be a good idea to update that article since there have been some major changes.
First of all, Facebook Graph Search stopped being available to you in June of 2019. Ever since its launch, concerns have been raised about user privacy and what the Graph Search actually revealed. Because Facebook has increasingly been on the hot seat regarding privacy issues, it’s not a huge surprise that it was finally closed down. Facebook started modifying Graph Search as early as the fall of 2014, but it took several years before the shutdown was completed.
Certainly there were useful aspects of Graph Search. For instance, investigators used it to identify and stop human traffickers. Also, it was a good tool for focusing on a specific audience for marketing, but too much information was available that probably shouldn’t be and it was being found by people who probably shouldn’t have access.
Facebook does still have some search functions. You can type in a search term in the search box and find content that uses that term. That can be helpful when you are looking for a post you read before and want to see it again or if you are trying to follow a trending topic. Obviously, Facebook also still keeps track of personal information, which is how they help your ads get in front of a specific audience, but one assumes that personal info is less accessible to random strangers.
As a little background, “graph search” refers to the “graph theory” which is a mathematical model that shows relationships between objects. Facebook used a semantic search to find term matches within its social graph. Like much of technology, the possibilities of Facebook Graph Search were impressive and immediately subverted by ne’er-do-wells. Scaling it back was no doubt the right thing to do.
Changes in marketing technology happen all the time and you shouldn’t have to figure out what’s happening at any particular moment when you’re already so busy with your own work. That’s where we come in. Just give us a call and let us help.
This is an update to “Facebook Graph Search: For or Against?” dated 3/6/2013.