If you noticed a change in the way your Facebook feed looked when you logged in yesterday (complete with pop-ups urging you to tour new features and check your privacy settings), you are not alone.
Facebook said Monday that all of its users who view the site in U.S. English will get access to the new Graph Search tool over the next few weeks – making searching and being searched for easier than ever on the social media giant.
Announced in January and available via a limited preview and subsequent beta tests (and still currently labeled as “beta”), Graph Search uses the information you provide to Facebook such as likes, location data and photo tags to power a central search engine. The thought is that you can now find restaurants, businesses, music, movies, photos and other content based on what your friends like, where they have been, etc.
So…in theory…you can search for things like “seafood restaurants in my neighborhood that my friends like.” The information generated will be based on your “friends” activities on Facebook and the content they have shared, liked, etc.
The full scale of the implications for business pages specific to Graph Search remains to be seen. A large part of evaluating how the new tool will impact business pages depends on whether or not users will embrace Facebook as a way to search for content and how much weight they will put behind the results of their searches versus established outlets and tools like Google, Yelp and Pinterest.
What it does mean is that there are immediate opportunities to optimize your Facebook page to help your business show up in Graph Search results. Ensure you have complete content on your page and answer all of the questions relevant to your particular type of page. Consider opportunities to include tags, captions and location content and identify opportunities to continually engage your Facebook followers to help ensure you get the likes, check-ins and other relevant engagement data that will show up on a Graph Search and increase the reach of your page.
You can learn about Facebook’s take and tutorial on Graph Search here.