Facebook’s Entity Graph Brings Real-World Relevance To Graph Search

By Justin Lafferty 

What is that makes Facebook’s graph search tick? The entity graph — Facebook’s set of place-specific data. Every time users are prompted to describe a little more about places where they checked in, that’s the entity graph at work. It’s Facebook’s way of making sure the real world comes across accurately on the social network. Mashable recently took a look at what the entity graph is and how it fits into graph search.

As Tom Simonite of the MIT Technology Review wrote for Mashable, the entity graph is like a sidekick to Facebook’s more well-known social graph, which tracks connections between the 1 billion-plus monthly active users on the site. The entity graph seeks to connect the places that those users visit.

Over the past few months, Facebook has been suggesting that users offer more information about places they check in or post about. As Simonite gave in one example, through entity graph actions, Facebook knows that NPR and National Public Radio are the same thing, and that a graph search query for software designers should also bring about results for coders.

Mitu Singh, product manager for Facebook’s entities team, talked with Simonite about the entity graph:

We’re trying to map what the real world looks like onto Facebook so you can run really expressive and powerful queries.

Singh said that the entity graph has grown rapidly, mainly because people are more than willing to contribute more information or clear up misunderstandings about the pages for places in their hometowns. Singh compared it to Wikipedia, as residents want to make sure the entries regarding their towns are accurate.

Readers: How often do you contribute more information about somewhere you’ve been?