Facebook today shared a summary of its “favorite ways” people have been using Graph Search since the product launched in beta. The company highlighted ways that users are finding out about friends, finding photos, planning trips and discovering new things.
There are now hundreds of thousands of users with access to the new search, but reception has been mixed. Graph Search helps users navigate and discover content within the social network by using natural language processing rather than simply matching keywords. Users can form complex queries, such as “photos of me and my family in 2006,” “my friends in Los Angeles who like Jay Z” or “restaurants in New York liked by chefs,” to get highly specific results.
However, in many ways, Graph Search is limited by users’ own creativity. Today’s blog post seems to be an attempt to spark ideas for how the product can be used.
Learning about friends is one use case:
Finding photos is another valuable feature, as we’ve written about in more depth here.
One of the most compelling ways to use Graph Search is as a recommendation engine. Users can combine a number of properties to find music, movies, TV shows, restaurants, tourist attractions, games and other things that they are likely to be interested in.
Along similar lines, Graph Search can help users make travel plans by helping them learn about the places their friends have been and other popular destinations.
Facebook also seems to be trying to build enthusiasm for Graph Search by including News Feed stories about a user’s friends getting access to the product. Interestingly, these stories appear in the feeds of users who also already have access, so it acts as a reminder for users to try new types of searches.