If you haven‟t already got it, get ready for some radical changes Facebook is coming up with. Apart from RESPONSIVE UI PERSONALIZED FEEDSgraph search which has already made news, Facebook is also enhancing its user interface, in terms of bothdesign as well as features. The new UI is apparently designed to reduce clutter and provide personalized feeds.With personalized feeds you can categorize and most likely prioritize how you receive updates of differentgroups or lists of friends. Now that may not sound much but these feeds are not only about your Facebookfriends, people you follow and brands, personalized feeds would include more than people and brands, feedscan set up for social objects too. A photo feed would let you view only photos from your friends and pages, amusic feed would bring to you music according to your preferences - music shared by your friends, tracksfrom your favorite artists ... Check out Facebook News FeedFrom preview videos it seems Facebook is more than simply adapting to the radical web designing trendcalled responsive web design, simply speaking, web design done keeping in mind the fact that the web page isrendered correctly not only on desktop but also on mobile devices. In fact, the primary target for webdesigners now are mobile devices rather than desktops. However, the changes in UI also reflect the newfunctionalities Facebook is coming up with, especially, personalized feeds and a new way to search forinformation , which has been called Social Semantic Search Engine.
My Facebook account is yet to see any of the latest enhancements but one of my friend has been given thegraph search feature which also includes some user interface changes. So while I have to wait for a while for THE CONCEPT OF GRAPH SEARCHthe new user interface, I did get a sneak peek of graph search through my friend whose screenshots I haveused in this presentation. Semantic Search Engine Social Search EngineGraph search has been heralded as a semantic search Social search is based on the concept of retrievingengine because unlike traditional search engines, itdoes not take a keyword or string-based wildcard information from the data generated users interactingsearch mechanism in which algorithm matches with each other. A social object is any context oncharacters and other factors to provide relevant which more than one user act. It can be a web page , aresults but is otherwise bereft of any meaning. picture, event and anything that connects users.Semantic search meant to search words and phrases Because the big data Facebook mines to derivebased on their corresponding meaning. meaning originates in users‟ online interaction. However, Graph search is not the Semantic However, on the web the scope of interaction is lesserWeb that Sir Tim Berners-Lee and W3C have been and related to specific acts only , the collaborativeworking towards. This Semantic search is based not data is called social object.on structured data but on social objects and activitiesthat constitute the Social Graph or the structural So currently , Graph search is available for a specificfoundation of Facebook ecosystem number of social objects only (for users, developers can make custom objects.)
SOCIAL GRAPH VS INTEREST GRAPHThe reason this is called graph search, is that the algorithm searches for within your social graph‟. Socialgraph is a depiction of personal relations of users . A similar concept, interest graph visually depicts specificinterests which link users together.Social Graph Interest GraphSocial graph represents relationship between individuals, the Interest graphs are graphical representation of things and activitiescontext, whether object or gesture, forms part of the network but (physical, digital, virtual) that form the commonality between aminor part. group of users. The basic difference is that unlike Social Graph, in Interest Graph, the context is represented as primary node.
FACEBOOK SOCIAL GRAPH Facebook combines the social graph as well as interest graph of users to access a treasure of user data. which can help predict what would be the what the user would chose in a given situation. If you have any knowledge on contextual ads on web (Google‟s major source of revenue) work, you would be aware of the benefits one can reap knowing a user‟s preferences in such detail.Facebook Graph Facebook graph attempts to proceed more on the lines of natural language paradigms and borrows the concept of “noun” and “verb” from grammar terminology to derive semantics. The entities (noun), both users and social objects are represented as nodes while the edge or the link connecting the two nodes represents the action or relationship.Social Object Social object is any context that forms the basis of interactions between two or more users. For instance a photo, video , link or just about anything that leads users to interact by their opinion about the object, is a social object. (Think about it , in physical world too, when you talk with some body, you talk about “something”) video Jane‟s In the following illustration John and Jane are users while the video is a social object. It is important here to note that both users and social objects have metadata assigned to them. For uses‟ the personal details such as name, age, profession John etc are metadata , for social objects, if not explicitly provided, the object‟s defining attributes can be taken as its metadata. Jane
SOCIAL OBJECT Coming back to Graph , this metadata can be useful when applied along with video Jane‟s an action type , forming relationships between multiple users and social object. At a very fundamental level, user‟s metadata determines and validates identity while metadata of the social object helps identify interests. JohnOn Facebook platform “like” is an action type associating John with thevideo shared by Jane, an association that can lead to finding a lot of John‟s Janepreferences.Graph search algorithm may or may not take them into account but here arefew assumptions I can make based on this associations such as(i) John and Jane have something in common(ii) John may like other videos which are similar to this one.(iii) Friends of Jane who like this video have something in common with John and so on … (Please remember these are some examples I have come up with, I am not aware how exactly Facebook interprets these relationships) Of course a single object may not help that much but the fact is, by simply using Facebook every day we are creating connections like these, in hundreds.
FACEBOOK GRAPH AND SUPPORTING DEVICESFacebook is thus a collection of user identities and their corresponding interests accessible from differentdevices such as mobile as well as desktop computers • Tablet • Mobile •PC • Laptop
OPEN GRAPH API However, Facebook‟s ambition goes much beyond its own website only. Graph API was introduced to allow website owners use Facebook‟s social objects on their own website thus allowing users to interact with content more meaningfully and at the same time enrich Facebook‟s data set . Diagram representing the web, each node represents a website, Open Graph icon indicates websites Objects & Actions that have Open Graph API integrated and are thus a part of Facebook world •Social objects are similar to what „nouns„ are in grammar. •Actions are verbs such as “like”, “read” , “listen”User Action Object • User • Read • Book
INTRODUCING GRAPH SEARCHFacebook user interface enhancement as well as social semantic search engine are neither rolled out fully nordo they seem to have been implemented completely. The information provided should help understand whatkind of changes Facebook has in store. As I said in the beginning, my Facebook account doesn‟t have GraphSearch or User Interface enhancement yet but one of my friends has and I will just navigate through some ofthe interesting features and include screenshots. Social Network
Logging In GRAPH SEARCHIf you log in to Facebook the first time the Graph search feature has been enabled , you would find theinterface slightly different. The search box and icon have been moved to the left side of the screen (and ofcourse it offers a tour to introduce you to Graph search) .You can search for people, places and things Graph Search SearchingThere are three distinctive features that caught my attention-1. You can search by typing in sentences instead of keywords for e.g “my friends who live in India”2. As you type the search query Facebook auto-suggests not synonyms but similar sentences.
NEW INTERFACEThe new interface lets you navigate across ,mini profiles, photos etc without leaving the page Navigate within the category My friends
GRAPH SEARCH – FIND FRIENDS 3. Since each search category has its own multiple sub-categories, selecting a parent category places you on the parent category level and the sub-categories are made available. What you are really doing is asking a very specific question and Facebook search aims to return you the most relevant answer(s) . This is what Semantic Search is about, the search engine seems to understand your question! Of course, the search would be conducted within Facebook‟s dataset but then , with more than a billion users, there are a lot of answers to be obtained.Clicking on “My Friends who live in India” will load a list of friends but unlike earlier, the picture andinformation are displayed more prominently because of the design changes.
Search results for “friends who live in India” FRIEND LISTThis is not all. You can find more information by exploring the additional option given on the lower rightcolumn of the page (shown in the next image )
EXTEND SEARCHMore information, including photographs and information in general can be retrieved using options given in theright column.
GRAPH SEARCHSince categorization has been done in hierarchical manner, Facebook lets you dig deeper progressively narrowing down the search data and thus raising the probability of finding the search object with greater accuracy My friends Friends of my friends Friends of my friends who live in a particular city Friends of my friends who are from particular city and live in another or same
REFINE SEARCHRefining search by allowing users to search and find nearly everyone on Facebook traditional way. Anyonewho has used chat tools such s ICQ, Yahoo Messenger and the like would be familiar with this search patterns. The only addition here is the social object “Friendship”. Multiple social objects can be combined to narrow search criterion. The screen shot above demonstrates search including 2 Friendship objects.
REFINE SEARCHGraph search doesn‟t just aim to make finding people as accurately as possible but also enables users todiscover photos, places, music and activities through social search. The screenshot above shows users who are friends of Anand Misra as well as friends of at least one more friend. It also displays other social objects such as photos, music, places etc that are similarly related.
REFINE SEARCH To explore more we need to return to the main menu by clicking on the Facebook icon.Then after clicking in search box, select “photos of my friends” from the drop down menu this time.
MARKET SUMMARY ANALYSISSet of photos of friends Photos of only those friends who live in Cuttack (Subset)
SEARCH PHOTOGraph search also allows you to search for photos using one or more social objects such as “friendship”,“place” etc. Facebook happens to be the largest repository of photos online and if you have a large networkretrieving only sets of photos you‟d be interested in would be difficult. With Graph search this is definitelygoing to be much easier and fun.
SEARCH PHOTOAs apparent from screen shot below, the only person auto-suggested was Lezlie Tripathy* It was surprisingbecause the friend whose account this is, is not friends with Lezlie Tripathy, so I assume it is her popularityon social media, abundance of photos and sizeable number of mutual friends that ranks her higher on socialgraph. * Lezlie is an Odia model, actress, poet, social worker on my Facebook friends list but haven’t really interacted much and of course don’t have any photograph; the search would return 0 result.
SEARCH PLACEAlthough Facebook Places did not turn out as expected, it still offers several search options.
Search For Places Tagged By Friends SEARCH TAGGED PLACESThe places your friends have checked in before is listed as shown below Further refining this search you can really find places of interest in vicinity
Place Search SEARCH PHOTOYou can even search for specific public places nearby, in this case, a restaurant.
Dig Deeper To Search for Accurate Information SEARCH PHOTOLet‟s dig deeper and search for cafes in the locality.
Other Social Objects OTHER SOCIAL OBJRCTSSimilarly, you can not only search for things like music, movies, TV shows, books , others can view yourpreference in each of these. In the new layout the left column of your profile now includes your preferences ineach of these.
ABOUTConcludingThat‟s for now, once the features are rolled out fully I might upload an updated presentationbut only if it turns out way different than it seems to be now. About Me Danish Ahmed Works at Mindfire Solutions Blog Website
DisclaimerViews and opinion expressed herein are my own and do not reflectthat of my employer or any other person or entity. I have tried totake permission for most of the images used. However, if you findanything objectionable, do let me know, I will address the issue assoon as possible.