DisplayMedia.ashx

You can kiss good-bye good ol’ days when you could count on limited exposure to your Facebook friends due to theirs not having enough time to meticulously comb through your entire Timeline.

But starting today and onwards, figuring out where you were, what you commented on your ex’s photos, whether you mentioned “drunk” or F-words  in posts and much, much more can become unravelled pretty easily.

That’s the power of Facebook’s updated Graph Search for you. After first experiencing Graph Search in action earlier this year, I went ecstatic. Finally, I could use Facebook’s search field for something more complex than barebone friends search. For example, as an avid photography fan I absolutely love the ability to filter just the photos my mom took in Prague back in 2007, or those of my significant other I snapped up last year.

That was merely warming up – Facebook now includes more of your content in Graph Search than ever before, things like your posts (way overdue), status updates (useful), photo captions (fun), Notes (meh) and check-ins (creepy)…

Your friends – just like yourself – post ton of stuff on Facebook, but you probably miss most of it due to the overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis. As a result of this information overload, finding that precise piece of information about a Facebook friend used to be a Gargantuan task – made just a tad easier only if you knew what and when to look for on their Timeline.

Now you’ll be able to search for status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments to uncover pretty much anything from other people’s Timeline that has been shared with you in the past, Facebook announced Monday.

DisplayMedia-1.ashx

I’m talking about stuff like finding out if Jane from the office bad-mouthed you in a photo caption or skimming your distant relative’s Timeline to figure out whether they posted anything mentioning sensitive words like ‘marijuana’ or just finding out what your family is saying about Breaking Bad.

Using it couldn’t be simpler: begin by clicking on the search bar at the top to start typing in your complex search query. Up pop Graph Search suggestions. You can then use the options under Refine This Search on the right to filter your results by author, keywords, location, comments and other things.

Hit the ‘See More’ link for additional filtering options. Note that some filters have dropdowns that provide suggestions to refine your search. Removing a filter is as easy as clicking the ‘X’ on the right or choosing Remove from the dropdown.

DisplayMedia-2.ashx

Don’t fret over privacy – like before, you can only see content that has been shared with you, including posts shared publicly by people you are not friends with.

To me, it’s a great tool to unearth my Facebook past and relive those memories, all over again – and a friendly reminder I should go back through my Timeline using the Activity Log to really rethink audience for some of my stupid status updates.

A few more example queries:

• “Posts I commented on”
• “My posts from last year”
• “Posts written at LEX”
• “Posts about Breaking Bad by my friends”
• “Posts about Miley Cyrus from my friends”
• “Posts by my friends about dogs”
• “Posts about Obamacare”
• “Posts by my friends about dogs”

I’m sure everyone can come up with their own use case scenarios and have no doubt in my mind that avid Facebook users will love the new Graph Search. I’m also imagining stalkers will have a field day data-mining their contacts.

Note that Facebook is currently rolling out the improved Graph Search to a small subset of US English users who currently have Graph Search. As the company is infamous for slow roll-outs, I wouldn’t hold my breath for impending availability because it’s a soft-launch so the feature clearly isn’t ready for prime time yet.

How does everyone like the expanded Graph Search so far?

Would you agree that it marks the beginning of the end of privacy by obscurity?

Does it make you uncomfortable knowing everyone on your Facebook list (with permission to see it) can not only look you up, but really drill into where you’ve been, what you’ve said, with whom you’ve interacted and much, much more?

From my vantage point, features like this will make careless posters think twice before sharing a status update that could come to haunt them later.

And please, do feel free to stalk us on our Facebook page.

  • Palmer Paul

    Post Search isn’t active yet for me, which is kind of strange since I got Graph Search and many other new Facebook features (including Stickers on iOS) well before their public release. 🙁

    • veda99

      post search is not yet supported for me as well 🙁

  • Meh…

  • Jo

    That was a very well-written article! And I liked the humor at the end.

  • Jo

    I just avoid this whole problem completely by not having Facebook.
    I have this awesome thing called Phone Book instead. It’s like Facebook, but without the privacy issues.

  • czbird

    Cheers from Prague