If you’re an avid Facebook user, and I am, you’re probably used to (although still annoyed by) Facebook’s constant changes and updates to everything and anything having to do with your account. The latest of these major overhauls is known as “Graph Search” and, while currently in beta testing, will inevitably be rolled out to the general Facebook population soon. So, what does this new functionality mean for you as a user?
Graph Search will make it infinitely easier to network and meet new people on Facebook. For real estate agents, this is a great opportunity to meet potential clients through Facebook, something previously reserved for more professional sites like LinkedIn. Graph Search taps in to criteria filled out in your Facebook profile, giving you the ability to search for someone in a particular town with particular interests.
On a broader scale, Graph Search will have big implications for helping people. There have been reports that this new feature could help medical professionals identify Facebook users who are at risk of harming themselves or someone else.
Graph Search provides yet another way for Facebook, and the Internet by extension, to track and show things you post. For this reason, if you don’t want certain posts to be searchable, privacy settings will have an increased role in your Facebook profile. As Facebook becomes more of a professional platform for some industries (like real estate) it will become increasingly important to make sure you’re only sharing some things with some people. For instance, if someone was searching for a real estate agent in Fairfield, Conn., you wouldn’t want your latest vacation pictures of you on the beach with a margarita to be the first thing to show up, right?
If you’re looking to avoid these kinds of faux pas that will likely become common with Graph Search, there are some steps than can be taken to ensure that your profile is safe:
- Posting a photo and tagging yourself will automatically make it visible in Graph Search (even if you remove that photo from your Timeline) UNLESS you make sure you’re only sharing the photo with your friends. With this option, that photo will only show up in a search done by your friends.
- If you’re worried about photos posted of you by other people, you can set up your Facebook settings so that you have to review photos you have been tagged in. You can then choose to reject or accept a tag, giving you control of what people are posting about you.
- Deleting something off of your Timeline does not mean that it is actually deleted. This is important for things you accidentally post, or perhaps regret posting. To make sure that an item is really, truly deleted be sure to visit your Activity Log.
Facebook is a great platform with a lot of important implications for your business, but it’s important to take care of how you use it. With these few, easy steps you’ll be more than prepared for the full roll-out of Facebook’s Graph Search.