Beginning this week, Facebook is giving a select group of users the capability to perform more in-depth searches. Previously, Facebook Graph Search only allowed for searches of photos, people, places and interests.
Besides allowing searches of public and friends' comments, the new Graph Search functionality allows for searches of check-ins, photos captions and status updates.
This has not been an easy task for the folks at Facebook: allowing search on this massive scale has meant indexing over 1 trillion posts.
While the new search capabilities are available to some users in the US, a full roll-out will come slowly, giving Facebook time to receive feedback and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
And, for the time being, mobile-users will also have to wait, as the new functionalities will only be available to desktop users for now.
Ways to Use Graph Search
With these new search capabilities comes the learning curve of how to actually make the most of Graph Search.
Some ways that you'll be able to use the new functionalities include:
- Searching for old status updates
- Finding out what your friends are saying about certain topics
- Searching for posts about a city or place
- Finding updates from a certain time period
- Finding posts you or a friend commented on previously.
For more information about how to use Graph Search for your business, check out my post How to Use Graph Search for Business.
Should I be Concerned About My Privacy?
I guess that depends on what you've ‘put out there'!
In the past, old posts were effectively hidden due to the inordinate amount of scrolling back in time you'd need to do to view old posts.
Now finding old posts is as easy as typing “posts by Jim Smith in January 2011”.
Another concern is that it's not just posts by yourself or friends that are searchable; any posts by any Facebook user that are marked as public are fair game.
This means that even if you've inadvertently marked posts as public, they'll now be accessibly by the general public.
If this fact makes you uncomfortable enough to want to do something about it, here are 4 ways you can keep what's private, private!
1. Make public posts private
To see which of your posts are marked as public, simply click on the gear icon on the bottom right hand corner of your cover photo.
Select ‘view as', and you'll be taken to your profile page, as the public would see it. Take note of any posts you see that you would like to hide.
Go to your activity log, and from there you can change the privacy settings for any posts you'd like to keep private.
2. Remove comments
On the left hand side of your activity log, you should see the option to sort by comments. It will take some time, but you can sort through comments you've made on your own posts, as well as friends' posts. While you can't edit the privacy settings of comments made on other people's timelines, you can delete them if you like.
3. Make photos private
To review your photos, navigate once again to your activity log. Scroll through your photos to see which ones you'd like to hide from search. You'll also want to make sure you look through the privacy settings of your photo albums by going to your albums page and checking the settings for each one.
Keep in mind that even photos and albums you've hidden from your timeline are searchable!
4. Hide posts you have been tagged in
If you've checked yourself into places, or if friends have tagged you in posts, you can edit these from the ‘Posts You're Tagged in' section of your activity log.
There you have it! 4 ways to keep your posts, comments and photos private.
How do you feel about Graph Search's new capabilities? Does it make you nervous? Share below!