3 experts and 1 parent have answered
If you are Google, I am sorry there is no good news for you - your users (even the most loyal ones) 'may' now turn to Facebook to look for some information which your search engines can't access. For others, there are, as always, upsides and downsides.
Upsides: It's actually a good search system. Really! For example: If you have an extra ticket for Adele's concert, and you want to invite a friend to join you. Instead of putting a status on your wall, you can now search for your friends who like Adele. The search is intelligent enough to rank your friends based on your interaction - so your closest friends will appear on top. If you are planning a holiday with your kids, just search for the terms (eg: national parks, circus, theatres) or city names and can see which of your friends have been there. You can browse what they have shared about the place or can ask them personally for more information.
Downsides: Anything that is made public on your FB page can be searched. Come to think of it, what do we share on Facebook? Well there are photos, birth-dates, religious views, political views, spouse name, child births, wedding dates, favourite quotes. Oh yes, we also share our sexual orientations, hometowns, places we have been to, contact information, schools attended, music we like, favourite films, books, TV, websites, groups/pages AND etc etc. All of this can be searched by potential advertisers, stalkers, and other 1 billion users. And there is no opting out.
Teenagers must be taught to post their information responsibly. Educating them about their digital footprinting is now more important than ever. They may not be sharing stuff themselves but their friends may be - tagging them, checking them in and the settings may be set to public. One good way to be careful about this is asking them to change their “Timeline and Tagging Settings” in privacy settings. Just turn on “Review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline.”
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The new Facebook graph search whilst being a bit underwhelming for many reporters, is a pretty big deal for Facebook. Facebook is built mainly on connections we already have in the 'real world'. However other social networks such as Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest to name just three have been built from the start to include the idea of connecting with new people. People with similar interests. People we've never met. To compete, to better advertise, and to keep disinterested users coming back, Facebook needed to create more connections.
The difference between the networks is we enter them under different terms. Facebook has always been the place to socialise with friends. Twitter and pinterest in particular are places to share ideas, interests and jokes. We signed up for twitter knowing our posts would be public and searchable unless we chose to use their simple binary privacy filter.
Facebook has now decided to let people (and surely advertisers) connect with us based on likes, interests, check-ins and locality. Suddenly all that information (which was findable, but not searchable) is much easier to find, and users of Facebook must decide what level of privacy they are comfortable with.
What should we know about facebook search? Facebook will make it easier for others to find you. Facebook have made it easier for others to find everyone around you.
The new search functionality has thankfully highlighted the need to review privacy settings. Hopefully a healthy percentage of the 1 billion, will do exactly that.
I also blogged about my concerns, and gave some links to some helpful Facebook privacy guides.
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Hi - I blogged on Facebook Graph search yesterday, describing how it will work and what the privacy implications are. Hope that will help :) http://www.emoderation.com/what-facebooks-graph-search-is-about
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Facebook isn't spying on us, it's simply using the information that we enter.
So it doesn't know that I like Adele unless I <like> Adele's fan page. It doesn't know I prefer red wine unless I've joined a group called 'We like red wine best'.
All this means is that we will have to be more careful about the pages we like and the groups we join and we should certainly check our privacy settings regularly.
While it might not worry me of someone finds my FB profile because of my music tastes or my wine drinking habits, it does concern me that some people share an awful lot more than this on FB.
Not only kids, but may adults share a lot of information on FB, including address, school attended, date of birth, siblings and lots of photos and videos.
I'm always surprised how many of my friends' friends have completely open profiles.