Friday, December 26, 2014

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Facebook unveils new search tool

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Facebook unveils new search tool
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Another round of changes are soon coming to Facebook. A new search feature will enable users to find interests and likes within their friend group. That might seem convenient, but as our Candace Hopkins reports, some Facebook users are reluctant to change.

Facebook's newest feature, Graph Search, is designed to mimic sites like Google and Yelp, a businesses review site. But instead of trusting strangers' opinions, the suggestions are from your Facebook friends exclusively.

"Facebook wants you to be able to find information that is interesting to you by using social search. They want you to be able to find recommendations from your friends, they want you to find friends who have common interest around tv shows or movies, and so Facebook is trying to challenge Google's ability to help you find that information," said Syracuse University School of Information Studies Professor Anthony Rotolo.

The Graph Search function will produce results using anything you've shared with the Facebook community, such as pictures, status' and likes. But experts say that could be a problem, if you have old information on Facebook you no longer want public.

"One of the things we don't think about on Facebook is all of the things we have liked over time, businesses that we have liked, music and brands we've liked, because often times we like those things because there's some sort of offer or deal associated, now all of those things you've liked in the past are going to be part of that search," said Rotolo.

Which means, it is once again time to sort through everything you've ever posted on Facebook. For many people, that process is already routine.

"Once a year I go through my Facebook, and I unlike everything that I don't think I like anymore," said Syracuse University Senior Sara Gil.

And it's especially important for college graduates, looking to ensure their Facebook content won't scare off potential employers.

"I think it's important to keep your profile professional because anyone can see it, even if they aren't friends with them, there are ways," said Syracuse University Senior Kelsey Hession.

Facebook's ultimate goal is to keep you on their site longer, but it's unclear if users will embrace the new technology. Right now Graph Search is only available to certain users, but will be introduced site-wide soon. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP