16 Jan, 2013 7:23a.m.

Its an advanced search launched by Facebook, Not Mobile

After lot of suspense and lot of speculations on various products, Facebook, yesterday at its press conference at its headquarters, launched a search feature termed as Graph Search. The feature is not a web search like what Google or Bing Offers. It is an advanced search that can analyse relations and produce results. The social network said Tuesday it will enable members to conduct complex queries related to their friends' profiles, wall posts etc. An example is "tourist attractions in India visited by my classmates." or "Hotels in my Chennai recommended by my friends"

People can use the structured search tool to resurface old memories, find people in their network, and uncover potential connections. The service incorporates various filters such as "place type," "liked by," and "visited by friends" to make locating things faster. You can refine search queries with more advance filters to get better answers.

Even tough the feature is different from what the google search offers, it is clear that the distinction between the two are fading out. Clearly the Facebook is on collision path with the google. With enormous data from its over a billion users, the company can analyse presicly what the user needs and present results to quires  The company has been offering some of the insights to its advertisers. For example if you have liked the Nike page, you are likely to be shown ads related to footwear more often.

Currently the feature is in its invitation only beta and limited to a restricted number of users. However you can get the feel of the feature at the site with some predefined searches and also request for an invite. For details visit http://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch

So whats in store for you. You can get lot of information about your friends activities, for example if you want help in visiting Sikkim, you can find out by searching "My friends who have visited Sikkim". How ever you have to be aware that your data or details are available in public domain and easily available via search. It sure that you may not like your name popping out when someone not so close to you searches for "Friends who like to booze off". So be careful about your activity at facebook - liking posting, friend request etc. 

Its time to adjust your privacy settings, and hide content you've shared in the past so that friends are only uncovering the personal information you're willing to share.

1. Comb through your Activity Log
Thanks to the Activity Log, a running feed of what you've done and what you've shared on Facebook is available at a glance. Since its launch, Facebook has refined the tool to make it even easier to use, allowing you to filter activity and content by different conditions. To access your Activity Log, head to your profile and click the button just below your cover photo.

2. Limit the info apps are sharing
For the time being, Graph Search is not yet integrated with apps, but as the tool grows, activity from apps like Spotify and Rdio will be indexed and searchable.

If you'd rather not make this data available, adjust your app settings. From any Facebook page, click the lock icon next to "Home" in the top bar. Then select "See More Settings." In the left sidebar, select "Apps."

The middle column displays the audience that can see the activity from that application, like Public or Friends. If you don't want the activity to be searchable by anyone, but want the app to remain linked to your Facebook account, click "Edit" and change "Posts on your behalf" to "Only me."

3. Prune your Likes

To do so, head to your Timeline, and scroll down to the "Likes" module in the right column. Here, there are a couple ways to adjust the privacy settings for Likes.

The first option is to actually go through and unlike pages you'd rather not be associated with. That means going to each page and unliking it from the drop-down menu. The second option is to make an entire Like category (like Television or Music) completely private, preventing that data from being indexed.

If you choose the second option, click the "Edit" button at the top, and use the audience selection drop-own button to the right of each category. To make the likes completely private, choose "Only me."

4. Be more cautious going forward

It is more important than ever to be aware of what you're sharing, and how you're sharing it. Each time you like a page, confirm that you're OK with having that association discovered. And when you share a link or add a new detail in your About Me section, take a moment to verify the audience settings.

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