Facebook is currently trialing a new beta program allowing users to search based on keywords to find out what their friends are interested in, where they are traveling to, and what they recommend. This is opening doors not only for Facebook members but also for organisations – both big and small. For example, a user could search for “Restaurants in Sydney my friends have been to” and instantly see check-ins, photos, and comments from their Facebook friends.
This feature will allow the ever-sought-after Word of Mouth recommendation to be more attainable for businesses. For small business, this means the drive for check-ins and likes will become a higher priority and could allow for exponential growth if their online presence is properly managed.
Some privacy issues are being brought up as content can be viewed by members outside of a user’s social circle. So, if someone checks in to a restaurant and posts a photo of their meal it could potentially be viewed by someone not in the user’s Friend List if they happened to search for information on that restaurant. Graph search is currently only available to a limited amount of users – you can sign up to be on the waiting list here.