The search features from Facebook is supposed to have a feature and functionality that helps people search on their website. The newer search feature is known as the Facebook Graph search. The search function on Facebook will now allow you to search for more than just people. As you may (or may not) know, there are different things you can search for with Facebook. Here is a quick rundown of some of the good and bad things about the Facebook search function.
The search is a filter based search
The search function on Facebook may be adjusted so that you can filter your results. You have to type in the name or email address of a person, and then click to use the results. The results appear on a page, and you may then click a filter to see the ones you desire. The current search will show you items from all the filters, but if you click a filter (such as “people”) then it will only show you things present within that filter. This is not really a good or bad thing, it is just a fact that some people complain about and others find useful.
We have become reliant on search functionality
This is actually quite true. Very few people feel the need to remember things online when they know they can search and find them. This is partially true, but it does neglect to consider the people who save sites in their favorites bar or who use RSS feeds. Nevertheless, the Facebook search function is not perfect, but persistent searching is often all that is needed to find the person or page of your choice. The fact that you need to search persistently is annoying, but the fact that you eventually get what you want is a redeeming feature.
The newer search function allows you to search for images
It actually allows you to search for images and posts. This is possibly a good thing, as choice is often good, but one may ask why such a search function is needed. Searching for a post or an image will presuppose that the image or post has been viewed already–otherwise what would prompt the search? But, then surely a means of saving posts or sharing posts and images would be a more effective way of allowing people to re-find the thing they have already looked at.
Facebook want us to use Facebook more often
Both their old search function and their newer improved search functions are both geared towards getting people to use Facebook more often. Instead of us going to a search engine to find a certain company or post, they want us to go to Facebook and search on there instead.
When good intentions meet bad design
Facebook wants us to use their search functions in order to find the businesses or people we wish to contact. They are going to do this by allowing their search tool to accept more natural language. This means that the search engine will take note of a bigger selection of words, and will not be so quick to dismiss results that are not perfect.
We type natural language into search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), and they give us related results. However, this process takes a lot of work and a lot of programming. It is a difficult thing to program such a sophisticated search engine, and Facebook is simply not at that point at the moment. Natural language on their search engine is not going to help display useful or related results. The fewer words you use then the more successful you will be. This is the opposite ethos when dealing with large mainstream search engines.
Some complain that Facebook’s search bar is restrictive
Many people complain that the search function on Facebook is restrictive because it insists upon making you search for things their way (as opposed to the way you find preferable). Again, if you compare it to larger mainstream search engines, you find that they offer a number of ways you can enter and order your keywords to find the pages you require. Whereas Facebook offers no such options. It forces you to search in their way or it does not show you the result you desire.
Kate Funk is passionate about different technology topics. She coaches individuals in writing and networking skills at rushtutor.com.