Many of us watched the Graph Search announcement from Facebook and, like me, were in awe of the indexing of billions of pieces of content that are now searchable. For me personally, this is a huge deal because I enjoy knowing what restaurants my friends have enjoyed lately, or what they have purchased recently. That makes a big difference to me.

I think Graph Search data will be more valuable to each of us than we realize, and I’ll get to exactly why below.

First, here’s what we should all know about Graph Search already.

Recently, I have noticed a bunch of people asking more questions to their Facebook friends, such as this one:

advice on facebook

This post got 14 replies.

This post got 14 replies

This is a perfect example of why the Graph Search is so important. What’s better than asking those people that are your Facebook friends for their opinion on something? Instead of asking Google and random reviews coming up, now it’s socially relevant. Now you don’t even have to do the above example. After reading the reviews throughout the last few days, it’s clear this means something to some, but it appears others find flaws in this idea.

I’ve read from some people things like “well, I am not close to my Facebook friends,” or the classic “I don’t even like anything anymore or comment on things,” the idea being that this wouldn’t be relevant to them. Two things: 1) it’s your fault you haven’t curated your Facebook list to your liking and you can thank Facebook EdgeRank for actually knowing who you like and who likes you; and 2) even though you as a user might not contribute, your friends are still engaging at a rapid rate and thus the Graph Search can still be awesome for you.

The third thing I have heard from people is that it’s only relevant for what happens within Facebook’s ecosystem – which I would say is true now but not true in the future. Here’s where the possibilities open up.

Remember Open Graph? Consider this: you as a consumer go onto Gilt (a great Open Graph website) and buy a shirt that you’ve wanted for a while. Then, even though you might not share it publicly, Facebook knows that you bought that shirt, and you can enable indexing via the Graph Search engine, which would result in someone searching “what shirts have my friends bought lately?” and bam, they get that recommendation. Now it’s outside of the Facebook ecosystem and it’s socially relevant through the web because of Open Graph.

How cool would that be?

– Andrew Foxwell

Leave a Comment

Andrew Foxwell
Andrew Foxwell grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin, where his Macintosh Quadra 610 with its lightning fast 28.8K dial-up connection first sparked his interest in digital marketing. After graduating from St. Olaf College, Andrew went to work as a digital director for a U.S. Congressional campaign, which led him to Washington, DC to work as a press secretary/new media director for a U.S. Congressman. Recognizing an opportunity for improved digital communications between members of Congress and their constituents, Andrew founded and managed the social media marketing agency within iConstituent, the leading online communications firm working with Congress. Andrew worked with members and staffs from both sides of the aisle to deepen much needed Congressional dialogue, improve constituent services, and create a more effective 21st century democracy. Andrew then took his diverse skillset to Silicon Valley where he directed the social media division of 3Q Digital, a full-service online marketing firm. There he tripled the agency’s social media client base, managed a team of account managers and production professionals, and oversaw an average monthly revenue growth of more than 20% while working with companies like Square, Fitbit, Eventbrite, 23andMe, Citrus Lane and more. Andrew is the CEO and Co-Founder of Foxwell Digital, a digital creative agency that works with clients as diverse as small-town cafes to multi-million dollar start-ups. Find him @andrewfoxwell and