While Facebook has worked very hard to perfect real-time news for friends in the Newsfeed and big-picture past events in the Timeline, granular details of past activity on the social media site are very difficult to pick out. Trying to find a specific status message or wall post can involve endless scrolling chronologically through the timeline — not necessarily the most efficient of methods.
But the social media giant has finally solved that today, announcing an expansion of Graph Search to include posts and status updates.
Facebook’s Graph Search debuted to a limited number of users in January, but only rolled out to all English-speaking U.S. customers in July. The current system relies on a proprietary algorithm that allows users to search for people and topics directly from their search bar, like “People who went to Yale University.” Results are not only based on information given by friends, but also any publicly available information on the site. Graph search has thus far been limited to user-listed information, comments, check-ins and photo captions.
With expanded Graph Search users will be able to search for topics that friends and other users on Facebook are discussing, like “The Superbowl,” as well as conversations from period of time, like “Posts by my friends from 2010.” The former search will likely be a boon for marketers, who will be able to use Graph Search to take an inside peek into brand conversations and sentiments.
A spokesperson for Facebook said a select few users will be able to access the features today, but most will have to wait patiently for the new functionality, in keeping with its usual launch policy.