Facebook’s Graph Search – Instant Search Only Better Kind Of

This past year Google created Instant Search, you know those suggestions that pop up under what you are typing at Google.com that recommend finishing your query based on other popular searches that Google has seen and recorded. Well you could consider Facebook’s Graph Search like Instant Search for Facebook, but with a twist – it delivers results from friends, friends of friends, and friends of other friends.

It’s kind of cool to have really personalized results from people who you may trust more than a search engine algorithm. You’ve got to enable Graph Search on Facebook first to use it. Once you do, Facebook inserts a search bar on the top left of your Facebook page. Results are personalized based on your friends and if your friends don’t have the answer, the answers come from Bing.

I did a search for best Chinese restaurants in Waldorf and got ratings on two from friends of friends. The page of the restaurant actually even showed images of people eating including children, shared ratings, and the location.

After reading the information I thought I’d better check my Facebook privacy settings as clearly anything you post, images you share, or locations you log, Facebook is now using for their Graph Search results. I am not so sure I want everything I do and say used in a personal search engine. As a result, I blocked many of the things that I allow Facebook to share so you probably won’t see my comments in a Facebook search in the future.

With Facebook Graph Search you are just losing another piece of privacy that can now be used to sell products, encourage shopping or visits to a restaurant, even if you didn’t even know your comments were being used. Kind of scary when you think about it.