Harpreet at Tools Journal reports on Facebook's Graph Search, a tool Facebook is developing iteratively with a select band of testers. Graph Search lets users search Facebook data with natural language queries. So, instead of typing a bunch of disconnected words, you type something like “My friends who like beer and Apple”.
First thoughts: It's not exactly natural language. That would be: “Uh, my friends who like beer and Apple?” Joking aside, it's not really natural because it's a thinly disguised structured database query.
Second thoughts: What does Facebook have, datawise, that Google doesn't? It's that initial screening level of the query: “My friends who...” Google doesn't have a graph of human relationships overlaying its data.
Facebook's data is more like the must-have data marketers want than Google's. Facebook must already be able to slice and dice data in any way they want. Enabling Graph Search facilities for the whole user population would provide additional valuable information. Facebook will be able to pinpoint and track people's developing concerns and priorities by the ways in which they search. Mash this up with “trending on Twitter” and the real-time marketer's dream is complete. Tools Journal