Feeds

Run for your (private) lives! Facebook's creepy Graph Search is upon us

It will only Sting for a minute ... bitch

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Facebook will roll out its Graph Search in North America more than six months after the free-content ad network debuted the beta feature to a lucky few.

The company said everyone who uses the US English website version of Facebook would be able to access Graph Search, which allows people to look up information about friends of friends. The end goal is ultimately to find out what punters are really interested in, lob well-placed adverts at them and satisfy investors of Mark Zuckerberg's ad-backed network.

At present, Facebook claims 195 million monthly active users in the US and Canada. It commands a global userbase database containing private and public details about the lives of 1.1 billion people.

Graph Search works by knitting together different parts of the network that have been publicly shared by individuals to help users build up creepy profiles about others on the site.

For example, they can ask "people who like BNP [British National Party] and The Police" and discover that fewer than 100 Facebookers are fans of extreme right wing politics and Sting's band.

Facebook is, in effect, making content that has been shared publicly on the network much more easy to find. At present, it has no plans to jam Graph Search with ads but it is almost inevitable that this should follow given that the company derives a vast amount of revenue from advertising.

As Google has shown, displaying ads alongside search results is a very fruitful business.

But Graph Search is still something of a half-baked product: Facebook has yet to offer up a mobile version - which is hardly surprising given the company's historic slowness to respond to the fondleslab and smartphone market. Its search mechanism is also relatively limited as it can't track back to old status updates, for example.

Zuck's programmers in Menlo Park have been clear from the start that Graph Search remains under development. That said, Facebook is clearly satisfied enough to spin it out to American English users of the site.

In recent months, concerns have been raised about the function. In February, Facebook tried to allay fears about perverts using Graph Search to prey on teenagers on the network, saying that controls would be in place to protect young people.

But such a process is almost impossible to adequately and accurately police. Need proof? Just look at how many kids under the age of 13 are actively using Facebook with or without their parents' permission. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.