Facebook’s recently launched Graph Search feature is going to be rolled out to all accounts using US English over the coming weeks, following feedback received from tens of millions of initial users over the past months.
As reported by The Drum, Graph Search is tipped as Facebook’s answer to Google, integrating search engine Bing to enable users to access search results the web beyond Facebook from within the site. Following queries submitted in a new search bar, it harnesses Facebook photos, posts, likes and shares, depending on a user’s privacy settings, to provide answers or recommendations.
Mobile Graph Search
In their statement announcing this update to the capabilities of US English accounts, Facebook said that it was only the beginning in the site’s Graph Search advancements, with the statement reading that they were working on “getting mobile Graph Search ready”.
As observed previously by the Digital Tourism Think Tank when Facebook brought in hashtags, users’ search scope is limited on the site due to the greater privacy settings the majority of people have. Unlike on Twitter or Instagram, where the norm is to have public profiles, enabling hashtags to link a very wide scope of discussions, on Facebook most posts are limited to a set group of friends, thus limiting the effectiveness of tools such as hashtags and now Graph Search. As such, Facebook will be prompting users to review their privacy settings ahead of the Graph Search roll-out.
Tourism and Marketing
Graph Search can be a very useful tool for destinations and tourism organisations to make use of; a huge number and wide demographic of consumers are on Facebook, and being able to sift through their topics of discussion and networks can be very informative to marketers. In addition, the feature enables marketing campaigns to have a greater reach and to be more easily discovered than if they are posted on a social media page alone without further scope to reach non-followers. Thus it will be interesting to see how Graph Search plays a part in organisations’ social media strategies going forward, and how privacy setting will impact on this.
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