Facebook unveils a powerful new search tool that will put the wisdom of your friends at your fingertips.
Perhaps you've posted on Facebook something like this: "Anyone have any good book recommendations?" Or maybe you've said, "Hey, I'm looking for a good primary care physician, anyone know of one?" Or, "I'm going to London!!! Hit me up with your recommendations."
I've seen hundreds of these posts, and the reason is that, even with all the power of Google, there are just some things that your friends know better. They know your tastes, your budget, and they might have experiences that are similar to your own. And, if they use Facebook a lot, they might have at some point "liked" a book they read, recommended a doctor, or checked in at a pub in London. That data is there, but without a search tool, it was hard to access. That's why people posted these queries, hoping people would see them and respond.
Today, Facebook unveiled a new search tool they are calling Graph, and with Graph, they are hoping they can make much better use of all that data people have been leaving on Facebook for years. At a demonstration at Facebook's headquarters, Facebookers showed off just what this new tool can do, answering queries ranging from the simple to the complex, all falling under the four categories of "people, photos, places, and interests." (These are culled from the tweets and liveblogs of people at the event, with particular debt to The Verge).
- Movies my friends like -- which pulls up, as you would expect, movies your friends have liked, but gives it some nice contextual information showing additionally other similar movies
- Photos of my friends in 2009
- Friends who live in Palo Alto who like Game of Thrones
- "People named Chris who are friends of Lars and went to Stanford." (Perfect for finding someone you recently met through another friend)
- Friends of friends who are single men in San Francisco
- NASA Ames employees who are friends of Facebook employees (Powerful for corporate recruiters)
- Photos of my friends taken in national parks
- Photos of my friends before 1990
- TV shows liked by doctors, engineers, etc.
- Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney (for the curious: Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Nickelback, and Pink Floyd, whereas music liked by people who like Obama gets you Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Adele, and Madonna)
- Languages my friends speak. Similarly: Friends who speak Arabic -- useful if you need a quick translation of something.
- Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Adele, Madonna
- Dentists liked by my friends
- Restaurants liked by my Indian friends
- Restaurants in San Francisco liked by Culinary Institute of America graduates
- Bars in Dublin liked by people who live in Dublin
- Countries my friends have visited
- Photos of Berlin, Germany, in 1989.