Overnight Facebook.com launched a new service called Graph Search.
What is Graph Search? According to Facebook.com - "With graph search you can look up anything shared with you on Facebook.com, and others can find stuff you’ve shared with them. Each person sees unique results." A user enters a query such as "Who of likes what I like?" or "Who's travelled to LA?". The results are from your network of friends and publicly shared information such as photos, likes, comments or videos.
Facebook.com says it's getting back to it's roots of allowing you and I to better connect with our friends or their social network.
Is it a good feature? Time will tell, certainly it's a great feature to allow you to create conversations with people around a common interest.
Is it new? Not really, advertisers have been able to query much of this information for paid advertising campaigns for sometime now. Albeit, in a different way and for a different purpose.
Is Facebook.com going back to it's roots? That might be just a good PR line.
How does this creative change in the social media world effect organisations and their execution of creative communication?
Well, the emphasis in Facebook's launch was on personal interactions and not advertisers or businesses pages. That doesn't mean this service won't be useful for organisations.
Here's a few ways I think we'll see this evolve:
1. We're likely to see more 'Circles' functionality appearing in Facebook. Circles is a way of grouping people around common interests in Google+. For example, keep your business colleagues separate from your party friends on your social network. This more looks like a soft response to recent growth of Google and is clearly positioning them for a strike at some point against Google+.
2. Facebook is expanding the capacity for easier 1-1 communication. The business application of this new feature is to query a network of friends or likes on a business page to find friends of fans who share similar interests. The ability to add these people to a marketing data set for advertisers within Facebook is a simple next step. This is highly targeted profiling of people within the social world and extremely attractive to anyone who wants to grow a community of like minded people.
3. Privacy or at least the perception of Privacy will be eroded. Facebook haven't made great decisions around their Privacy regulations - just look at the recent debacle with Instagram over the 2012 Christmas period which cost Instagram millions of users. It's likely that more people will close out public information and become more private on their Facebook profile. Does this help Facebook? Yes! It means you need to use paid search and advertising features to reach an audience.
Innovation is worth saluting, so great to see new features coming through from Facebook. Will it help your organisation creatively communicate with your community? Yes. Get involved, learn about the social world and continue with your creative growth.