Recently Facebook announced what they are calling the third pillar of their focus on creating the best social network. With one pillar being the all encompassing, but also out-dated feeling Newsfeed the second pillar is the new personal bulletin board they call Timeline. Now, the third is Graph Search.
In typical John Gruber fashion, he had these brief but to the point words on the announcement:
So Google got into social networking with Google Plus, and now Facebook is getting into search.
No doubt right now Google is the best at search. They have been with us almost since the beginning of the Internet. Google has now become a verb we use to search for something. And what's really interesting is many that are not tech-savy refer to Google as the Internet.
Facebook on the other hand was introduced after many have already been using the Internet for mainly finding interesting sites, playing around, and partaking in the practice of email. Since the inception of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the talented team have focused on building what many are seeing as the first, true social network. Heck, there was even an actually good film made depicting the inception of Facebook called, "The Social Network". Facebook became a verb referring to checking out one's profile (which is now being called Timeline). But, more I see Facebook being one of the most popular nouns on and off the web.
No doubt both Google and Facebook have the largest user base among the entire web. With social technology on the rise that bridges the gap between the online and physical worlds Google was quick to notice they are going to be missing out if they don't create a place for their users to establish a home. Sure you might make Google.com your homepage or have their browser called Chrome downloaded, but building and retaining connections and details of each person is much more important.
And this is what Facebook has been doing from day one. When talking about privacy and handling personal information you are likely to run into discussions or talks about how poor Facebook handles all of this. To me, it's not that they handle it poorly (they certainly could improve) but they are the largest and most popular social network. A good social network requires lots of personal data. And like with everything related to technology the more convenient you want your life to be the more privacy and personal information you have to risk. Life is all about gambling.
Facebook's first two pillars (Newsfeed and Timeline) defined what Facebook is today. Their newest pillar called Graph Search marks the future of both Facebook and Google.
The Graph Search by Facebook allows you to naturally type into a search field of what you're curious about or looking for. It's less about navigating through the Internet and more about organizing what you're interested in.
Speaking of a naturally type search this reminds me of the Siri functionality on many iOS devices. You don't have to worry about saying certain commands. Instead Siri works to understand what you mean by what you're naturally saying. All the work and what impresses us all happens in the background. No doubt that is what Facebook is pushing to achieve with Graph Search.
Personally, this Graph Search will push me back to using Facebook more. I will still use Twitter to connect and find out about great and interesting pages on the web. Dearest Google, our relationship is continually growing farther a part.
Google thinks they know you, but Facebook actually does. All because of you. All because of us.