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How to enable Facebook Graph Search

Facebook’s Graph Search is probably the future of search, in its infancy. It’s been released for over a year now and it’s probably one of Facebook’s most useful features although you’ll never really hear or see much about it…

How to enable Graph Search

If you try searching for things on Facebook, you may not be able to use Graph Search features. This is most likely because your language is set to something other than US English, which is currently the only language Graph Search will work with. So if you want to use Graph Search, just change your language settings to US English.

facebook language settings

 

Why Graph Search is useful

It’s a very quick way of accomplishing what would normally be quite laborious and complex tasks. For example, let’s say you want to find people who like potatoes and sheep that are from New Zealand… look at how easy Graph Search makes this…

graph search

Of course that’s just tip of the iceberg stuff… you can search by age groups, relationship status, city etc… in the wrong hands, it’s potentially a dangerous tool but for recruiters, employers, marketers or even law enforcement, it’s potentially very useful. For¬†example if you were to tell me there’s a guy called John who lives in Dublin that just murdered somebody, you might think finding him would be needle in a haystack stuff… not so, if he’s using Facebook and doesn’t have his profile locked down….

Graph Search could narrow the field considerably and if we know anything at all about him at all, he could be nailed in seconds… for example if he went to Trinity, that would narrow the field considerably… if he’s a Man Utd fan, we get a smaller list etc…

graph search

This of course will highlight privacy concerns for people but as I always say the potential good / legitimate uses for this type of technology outweigh the potential bad uses. In any case, it’s good to be aware that things like this exist and i’d hazard a guess most Facebook users don’t have a clue this type of functionality exists not only to Facebook itself, but to anyone…

The bit that freaks people out

Let’s say you were at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin today. You met someone called Mary but you’ve no contact details for her and you don’t know her second name or anything about her… but you need to contact her… what are the odds of you being able to find her? Pretty small, right? Allow me to freak you out with an open graph search… suddenly, your odds of finding Mary increase..

graph search

Freaky? Invasive? Useful? Powerful? It’s all of that and more but this is probably the biggest reason why you need to brief yourself on Facebook privacy settings.

Sean MacEntee

Web Developer. Technology Addict. Swimmer. Man Utd Fan. Writer. Designer.