Feeds

Facebook allows full personal data ransack with Graph Search

Posts, updates, the lot. Our ad sales will boom. Mwu-ha-haaaa ... bitch

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Stalkers and advertisers will be pleased to know that Facebook is now more searchable than it has ever been, after the social network confirmed that it was in the process of allowing users to dig much deeper into a "friend's" past posts on the free content ad network.

The Mark Zuckerberg-run company has been chasing larger ad bucks in a move to cheer investors on Wall Street. And in recent months, the strategy has started to pay off.

Facebook unzipped its Graph Search feature at the start of this year. It came with limited functions at the time, but the system was Zuck's first clear signal to advertisers that he was finally getting serious about search and - by extension - advertising, from which the billionaire derives around 85 per cent of his company's revenues.

Significantly, while Facebook has a close working relationship with Microsoft, it had enough foresight to recognise that its search feature needed to be completely autonomous within the Menlo Park silo.

MS still powers external search requests for Facebookers. But the juicy stuff locked inside the network is controlled completely by Zuck's engineers.

Facebook said of Graph Search on Monday:

Now you will be able to search for status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments to find things shared with you.

But it was keen to add that a user's privacy would not be violated on the network.

As with other things in Graph Search, you can only see content that has been shared with you, including posts shared publicly by people you are not friends with.

Fears about perverts using Graph Search to prey on teenagers on the network were raised earlier this year. Facebook was forced to say that controls would be in place to protect young people. But the system is flawed, because it relies on kids and adults to be honest about their age when signing up to Facebook - which is not robustly policed by the company.

The new function is slowly being rolled out to a small number of users for now. As Google and Twitter, the latter of which is prepping for its IPO, understand only too well, watching in near real-time which searches are popular on those services is key to satisfying hungry admen. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.