Facebook Lets Developers Search Publicly Available Graph API Data

By Eric Eldon Comment

The announcement was glossed over during Facebook’s many launches at f8 yesterday, but the company has introduced ways for developers to conduct a variety of searches for content in its Graph API. This could benefit any number of search companies and other developers who are looking for lots of public data to aggregate and organize.

The Open Graph allows applications, Pages, web sites and other software services to add Facebook features, like the “Like” button, to their own sites. Taking actions on other sites results in those actions being shared with your friends on Facebook, and may allow friends on those sites to see what you’re doing, too.

Many users have their privacy settings configured to allow status updates, likes and other activity to be public. Its terminology for this data is “public objects.” The generic search format is:¬†https://graph.facebook.com/search?q=QUERY&type=OBJECT_TYPE.

Here are the specific types of searches that can be done:

News feeds of individuals can be searched, too, but you’ll need authorization. Here’s an example:

News Feed: https://graph.facebook.com/me/home?q=facebook

This search is restricted to public data about users and their immediate friends (not, say, their friends of friends), in keeping with Facebook’s existing data-sharing policies.