Facebook Graph Search – more advanced than Google?

Ever wondered what happened to ‘advanced search’ on Facebook?

Ever wanted to find all those from your home town in your current city, or a list of everyone on Facebook who is working in your company?

You are in luck because the new ‘graph search’ from the social networking leader lets you do just that, and much more.

While graph search does widen your search to the world wide web with the help of Microsoft’s Bing, its real power comes from the fact that it opens up a lot of hitherto inaccessible Facebook data to users.

For example, so far, users could not really find everyone from their home town living in their current city, or get a list of Democrats, or Republicans, in their city.

Not just that, it is the power to combine these different criteria that makes the new graph search more handy and powerful than possibly any other search tool, except Google.

For example, you could combine the age-criteria, the school criteria, the location field and the ’employer’ criteria to easily locate the profiles of everyone who passed out from your school in a particular period and is currently working in a specific company in a specific city.

So far, there was just nothing that could even come close to delivering such results.

Of course, it is not just the power of the software – it is the power of the network. The fact that nearly everyone is on Facebook makes the ‘advanced search’ almost equivalent to a universal search, if ever there was to be one.

Graph search is, of course, not the first time users are able to do ‘deep searches’ on Facebook’s user data. Earlier, app developers had come up with various ‘advanced search apps’ to easily locate and classify users.

However, the apps were subsequently removed for violating the social network’s terms of use.

The graph search is currently in public beta and users have to make a special request to be able to use it.

Going by early results, Facebook may have a winner on its hands as the data thrown up by the new search facility beats almost anything else that is available for free (or even paid) on the Internet at present.

Among those that will find the new facility useful will be recruiters and headhunters – who can now, with a few clicks, easily get a list of people working in a particular position in a particular city or company. What is more, unlike paid recruitment websites, the results on Facebook will be much more numerous.

The graph search would also help enthusiasts and hobbyists to locate others who share their interests, and generally help people locate others like them – for friendship, doing deals or organizing.

While Google may be king of content searches, Facebook may have just become the king of people searches.