Since Facebook’s launch of Graph Search, there has been a lot of speculation of how this feature will influence people’s search habits both on and off the world’s largest social network.
Although Graph Search is still in beta and currently only available to select users, Facebook has unveiled some insights into how those who already have the new search feature are utilizing it. The insights reveal that most people are using Graph Search to look up friends (in the same way they did with Facebook's original search feature), followed by those who leverage the feature to find photos, plan trips and discover new things. While this basic use of the new search feature is not surprising, Facebook is also offering some search suggestions to help people discover other ways to take advantage of Graph Search.
For example, although many people are leveraging Graph Search to find pictures of friends and family, Facebook suggests that members use Graph Search to discover public images from brands or news organizations. This can be done with a simple search like “Photos by National Geographic.” Moreover, members can use Graph Search to plan activities with search queries like “Ski resorts my friends have been to” or “Hotels near Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.”
These insights and suggestions that come directly from Facebook seem to imply that the social network's members are typically not using Graph Search beyond basic searches for finding people or Pages – as they did with the social network’s original search offering. This could pose a problem for Facebook, because even though Graph Search has the potential to shake up the local discovery and search industries, doesn’t mean it will. This is especially true if members aren’t aware of how to use the feature or are simply not using it to its full potential.
Facebook's search suggestions further prove how important it is for brands to maintain an engaging Page on Facebook, which can be accomplished through posting a variety of content and fostering interactions with fans. By doing this, brands will have a better chance of showing up in the results when members conduct searches for public images or for places that their friends have been to or liked.