Facebook has begun rolling out its social graph search function to members who signed up for early access.
Yesterday, my account popped up with a notice that I could enable the new feature, and being insatiably curious to the point of self destruction, I clicked.
Getting to know social graph
A charming intro process showed me how to use the new interface to search within my group of friends. After being partly impressed and partly creeped out that Facebook pulled its search term from part of my profile info, I clicked through the tutorial and landed back on my new and improved Facebook homepage.
No sweat FB, you’ve only taught us to repeatedly check the upper left hand corner for updates all the time.
This won’t be confusing at all.
Once I figured out what Facebook had done to my navigation, I decided to snoop around in social graph. After all, if they completely moved around all the top nav items for it, it had to be pretty rad… Right?
(Facebook) games my friends play
Click on the Facebook icon – yep, they got rid of their text logo on site; interesting choice – and you’ll see this menu appear:
Clicking on the “Games my friends play” option leads to a page that seems to just sum up the Facebook games your friends play. Given that Facebook has encouraged us to share oodles of data through liking company and fan pages, this seems like a missed opportunity to pull in more data about the other games people like too.
Is this really how we search?
I like my friends, they’re awesome, but we don’t all share the same taste. When I’m looking for a restaurant, I feel more comfortable cracking open Yelp and checking out what people think about an eatery in aggregate rather than relying on a single say-so.
Friends’ music, food and pictures all already show up in my news feed. Sure it can be frustrating to find a specific thing later on, but that’s a fairly unusual circumstance for me. Most of the time when I check FB, I surrender to the serendipity of it all: the updates I see may or may not be the ‘best’ ones of the day, or the most relevant. But that’s just life – you can’t do or know everything.
I can see a use for all the search categories here, but in most cases it’s a limited one. When Social Graph rolls out to everyone, my guess is that most users will continue to use the basic search function 90% of the time.