Facebook launches graph search

Tatyana Aposhian

(February 28, 2013) — Ever since it was first created, Facebook has gone through plenty of changes, some viewed by users as good and some as bad. Currently, a new feature is in the process of being rolled out to users. Facebook Graph Search allows its users to search for people, places, events, groups, likes and photos on Facebook. It uses tags and connections to provide answers for people’s searches. The function has been launched only to a limited number of people and requires engaged users, according to web editor Robert Varga. Right now, to get access to the Facebook Graph Search, users need to sign up on the waiting list or be invited to use it. The interface is quite advanced and is programmed to understand slang. For example, if someone searches “homies born on St. Patrick’s Day,” the results would include a list of friends born on March 17. Graph Search definitely has its pros and cons. If one is trying to find out if he and his friend have similar interests, it isn’t too creepy; however, if an old man is using Graph Search to look up people and their lives in his area, it’s a major invasion of privacy. Unfortunately, once it is launched to all users, there will be no way to opt out of the graph search. Just like any other Facebook feature, users can only manipulate settings in order to limit the amount of information they let out. If Graph Search were to be launched to all users tomorrow, junior Alyssa Fortaleza said that she would not be too happy about it. “I would be weirded out because I feel like it’s an invasion of privacy, but at the same time I’d be searching for what everyone else likes. It’s hypocritical but we all do this,” Fortaleza said. “With this, everyone’s going to start stalking people even more.” Fortaleza said that she doesn’t like social networking in general because it limits the amount of conversation you can have with your actual friends. “With Facebook Graph Search, the people that you actually want to get to know, you can just search something and you assume that you know the person because they like something on Facebook,” Fortaleza said. The new feature of Facebook will make things easier to find by using a powerful method of doing so. It may be argued that it isn’t the greatest decision for Graph Search to be dished out to all users but the company will continue to explore the management of the function.