Facebook’s New Graph Search – What’s the Big Deal?

On Tuesday, Facebook gave the public a sneak peek at the new social Graph Search that’s currently in beta. If you’ve tried to use Facebook’s search in the past, I’m sure you know the frustration of being unable to find a friend or trendy new business without having their exact name.

According to the information about the new Graph Search, that will soon change. Some examples of the things you will be able to search for include: music your friends like, restaurants they have been to, as well as any photo that you’ve been tagged in. When compared to Facebook’s current search capabilities, the volume of social information that will now be at your fingertips is like upgrading from a small studio apartment to a five bedroom house.

If the Graph Search does what it promises, Facebook is about to get a lot more personal. Instead of clicking on hundreds of pages to look at what restaurants your close friends like, all of the information from your friend’s likes will be pieced together for you and presented in one place. While it might seem a bit strange asking a search engine such personal questions, if used properly it may become a way to bring communities closer and to connect with people who enjoy the same interests.

For users concerned about their privacy on Facebook (again), anything you allow the public or your friends to see will be visible. You might want to revisit past posts or pictures you’ve been tagged in to make sure you have an idea of what will be included in the Graph Search.

If you are looking for more web-based results while on Facebook, they will continue to take you to Bing for a full list of results. However, it will be interesting to see how integrated the two search engines become in the future, and what this might mean for Google.

What have you heard about Facebook’s Graph Search? Do you think it will fundamentally change Facebook?