The thing about empires—evil and otherwise—is that they’re constantly expanding. So, true to form, Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has just announced the social network’s newest capability, coming to a profile near you: the Facebook Graph Search. We know what you’re thinking: what do I need a graph for? Well, it’s not actually a “graph, graph” as you know it (no x- and y-axis, no pie charts). Instead, it refers to your “social graph,” which, in Facebook terms, means all the connections you’ve made, plus everything you and your friends have liked, done, and posted on the site. When you do a Graph Search, you’re basically searching for hits through all of your connections and friends on Facebook, instead of searching on the web. For example, you can search for something like, “photos of friends in Italy” or “single friends of friends who live in Brooklyn” or even “good Italian restaurants in Miami.” The Facebook Graph Search will then spit out everything that matches your search terms that anyone in your network has posted about and made public to you.
The advantage? Credibility. Instead of searching on Yelp for a stranger’s advice on where to eat, you’re served up a restaurant that your friend has actually checked into. Reaching out to a single friend of a friend who lives in Brooklyn? Now you have a warm intro (assuming your friend will vouch for you), instead of being that random guy on Plenty of Fish. Facebook is clearly going after the capabilities that other sites provide, but again, isn’t that what an empire does? So what does this mean in terms of your privacy? Well, as long as you’ve hidden everything you don’t want to be associated with (I Heart Pugs Fanclub), you’re safe from popping up in someone’s search. The feature will be rolling out slowly (first just to beta testers, then to just Facebook users in the U.S.), but eventually, will be available to everyone to use.
Start hiding information accordingly…