Facebook has announced a new search feature dubbed Graph Search, a service which is built atop the network’s Social Graph. CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company has been working on Graph Search for years, and claims it offers something that no other service can. It is available as a limited preview right now for English audiences only.
Zuckerburg made it clear that this isn’t a Web search service, and that user privacy has been taken into concern. Graph search is designed to take a precise query and deliver an answer. While Facebook says users can only search for content that has been shared with them, it is possible to search for things such as “TV shows watched by doctors” or “Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney” or even “Languages my friend speaks”.
Facebook’s CEO says that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience with most of it not available to the public. Currently, you can only search for content that has been shared with you.
The Web giant announced Tuesday that it plans to follow the activities of users across nearly all of its ubiquitous sites, including YouTube, Gmail and its leading search engine.
Google has already been collecting some of this information. But for the first time, it is combining data across its Web sites to stitch together a fuller portrait of users.
Consumers who are logged into Google services won’t be able to opt out of the changes, which take effect March 1. And experts say the policy shift will invite greater scrutiny from federal regulators of the company’s privacy and competitive practices.
Sounds creepy, and while beneficial, I still find it a little jarring to see advertisements pop up in my GMail account that are clearly generated by a keyword search of the email I’m looking at.
It’s also not very smart. No, Google, I’m just talking to my friend Victoria — not looking for sexy panties.
Think of all the times you’ve found yourself Googling stuff on your iPhone to settle a friendly debate with friends about a movie or athlete. There are a million things mobile users query Google about every day on their phones, but I theoretically could have used Siri to look up that entire list for me, and with much less effort on my part.
For Google, this is not good news.
Google recently stated during its testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that a whopping two-thirds of its mobile search traffic comes from iOS devices. If even half of those users eventually migrate over to Siri for the majority of their basic inquiries from their iPhones, Google’s mobile search business could find itself in flux. When roughly 66 percent of your mobile search traffic comes from a platform that now has an “intelligent assistant” making its own queries without the help of Google, a strategy change may be in the cards sooner than later. So far, Google is remaining mum on Siri.
Siri: Apple’s secret software ninja? Sneaks in through your phone, ends up taking over your life. In such a nice way.