For anyone who uses the Internet to search restaurant recommendations, travel advice, books to read on vacation, or which political candidates to vote for, Facebook may have replaced Google as the best search engine. Birds of a feather flock together, and only Facebook can let you know about all the cool things your friends experience that’d you’d also like to know about.
“If you know a person’s music preference you can tell what kind of person they are,” said Psychology Professor Adrian North, who found surprisingly tight similarities between music genre and personality. No shocker, North confirmed that the droves of eyeliner-wearing emo fans packed into indie concerts do, indeed, have “low self-esteem.” Indeed, after music discovery service, Pandora, integrated Facebook social data into their recommendation algorithm, I noticed that many of my favorite new songs were first liked by my friends.
More importantly, music, books, art, and food, are expressions of the human condition; this is precisely the reason why music concerts also sell art and books. The most intelligent source of information about desired experiences are people’s friends. In other words, Facebook’s graph search is now the best search engine for the things that make people happy. Until now, Facebook had a pretty poor search experience. Before a vacation, I’d often throw up a question to my Facebook friends like “Going on a trip, any book recommendations?”
After a modest response rate (because updates only reach a fraction of friends), I’d get disappointed and turn to Google. Now, I don’t have to pray that my friends will respond to inquires about books, travel, or restaurants, I can just search the things they’ve read, places they’ve visited, and restaurants they’ve eaten at.
And, with the flip of a feature switch, Facebook just become far more valuable to me than Google.
Check out more of TechCrunch’s coverage of Facebook Graph Search: