The much buzzed-about Facebook Graph Search is getting closer to its wide release. And although its development is progressing, there are plenty of questions still to be answered about how successful it can be.
For those that don’t know, Facebook Graph Search is a search engine within Facebook that allows users to “cross-reference” people with places, interests, likes, activities, etc. The goal, as Facebook puts it, is to “discover fun connections between people, places and things.” For marketers, this means defining a target market even further in order to find their ideal consumers and cater to them.
All of That Sounds Great – But Will it Work?
Last week, a panel of experts at SXSW Interactive discussed Graph Search and its future. The most pressing concern was that as of now, its usability is way off. At the moment, it’s too difficult to navigate and find what you’re looking for. The full version won’t be released to everyone for another 6-12 months. At that point, it should be easier conduct searches. Then we will see a wider implementation of the service.
There are a lot of questions that need to be asked since Graph Search is still young in its development.
- Will it become pervasive?
- Will the masses use it?
- Is there a real need for it?
- How will it work with the new News Feed?
- Is there an interest from consumers to see brand conversations?
- Will the fact that people aren’t completely honest online affect its usability?
- How will graph search sort content that is in image form?
What We Know Today
These questions, and many more, will ultimately be answered when Graph Search is fully functional. But from early testing, a few things have become clear.
- This feature will be most useful in its mobile functionality. Targeting users based on their current location will be the easiest information to find consumers. Catering to customers based on their current location will promote moment-by-moment targeting. Marketers can also use this information to study consumer’ habits and tailor their campaigns to meet those needs.
- Graph Search should help to increase engagement. Once marketers have learned more about their consumers, users should be given more accurate and relevant content. In turn, this should encourage engagement and place a stronger emphasis on communicating with consumers. These increased conversations should then drives sales.
Tell us what you think! Will you try Graph Search for your own personal use and benefit? Would you use it to connect with people who have similar interests?