Facebook introduces a new Graph Search feature

Courtesy of MCT Campus.

Courtesy of MCT Campus.

Bryan Webb

Facebook has taken the social network “creeping” to an entirely new level, making it that much easier to find people you hardly know.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Graph Search to the public on Jan. 15. Graph Search is your traditional search tool, but it focuses on people, photos, places and interests, and will take information from 1 billion profiles, 24 billion photos and 1 trillion connections to answer more advanced questions.

For example, if a user goes to a McDonald’s and sees a worker who looks familiar whose name is “Bob,” according to his nametag, users can use Graph Search to find “Bob” by searching people who work at McDonald’s in Kent named Bob.

The feature, which hasn’t received as much media attention as previous Facebook updates, is up and running in beta mode. It’s only available to users who requested to be on its wait list.

Currently there is no indication of when the tool will come out of beta mode. There is no mobile version of the tool, and it is only available in English.

Kent State students reported some of their concerns about the new search tool.

“I’m comfortable with my settings,” said Bryan Sawyer, freshman exercise science major. “As far as other people go, they might be hesitant to type in their work place though.”

Sawyer said that finding someone on Facebook is already easy enough, but he doesn’t think this will have a negative effect on the social networking site.

However, Julia Byrne, junior visual communication design major, said she isn’t concerned about unwanted people finding her because she takes precautions to ensure they can’t.

“If you don’t want someone to find you and try to get ahold of you, you should block them first so they just can’t find you at all,” Byrne said.

Byrne is comfortable with what she posts now, and likes the idea of Graph Search since there are so many people in the world with the same names.

The new Graph Search tool also will be used to find businesses that users’ Facebook friends like and recommend. Users can enter the type of places they are looking for such as restaurants, banks, clothing stores or doctor’s offices, and with the help of Microsoft’s Bing search engine, it will pull up friend recommendations, reviews and prices.

“I think it’ll definitely benefit smaller businesses if people put a good review,” said Jake Nebozuk, sophomore business management major. “I mean, word travels fast so any good reviews will help them out I’m sure.”

Searching for pictures from a specific event or a certain city is also supported in Graph Search. Zuckerberg called Graph Search “one of the coolest things we’ve done in a while” at the feature’s press conference Jan. 15.

Contact Bryan Webb at [email protected].