Everything you need to know about Facebook’s expanded Graph Search features

everything you need to know about expanded graph search

Facebook’s Graph Search is supposed to be a wide-ranging discovery tool to make the site a source of information about people, places, and things, but until recently, it’s been way more effective at helping users find Game of Thrones‘ Wikipedia page than it has been at helping us find out what friends and other users have posted about the Red Wedding. But Facebook is moving forward with Graph Search and making it better at honing in on what users are saying. 

Facebook expanded its Graph Search to include posts and status updates, which means everything you’ve been posting is way easier to find than ever before. This expanded search is only available to a select test group, so you probably won’t be able to use it quite yet, but it will eventually roll out on a wider scale and likely prompt a ton of annoying complaints in your News Feed. 

Here’s what you need to know about the changes: 

You can now search for what your friends and other users are posting about a certain topic 

This topic-specific search pulls up instances where your friends or the general Facebook population use whatever term you’re searching for, so it’s helpful for following discussions about pop-culture events — something valuable to Facebook as it attempts to convince broadcasters that it’s an online destination for real-time chatter to rival Twitter. It’s still not as good as Twitter for discovery, but this is a step in the right direction.

facebook graph search posts

Since most people on Facebook aren’t using hashtags to append their Breaking Bad rants, now you can look up posts by topic – i.e., “my .friends talking about Breaking Bad.”

You can now search based on location or time

If you want to see what one of your friends was posting about a year ago today, or you’re interested in seeing how people in Washington, D.C. are handling the government shutdown, there’s also an option to look at posts and updates based on location or when they went up. 

fb white house

You can dive into your possibly embarrassing posting history

fb my postsInstead of scrolling down and down and down into the depths of your Facebook until you hit that dubious stretch of time when you were a senior in college and got really into documenting your kegstand frequency, now you can easily pull up long-buried posts. Which brings us to the most important thing you really need to know … 

It’s time to change your privacy settings (again) 

This expanded Graph Search makes it really easy for friends to look up stuff you posted a while ago, and it also makes it simple for other users to see what you’ve posted publicly. Unless, of course, you go into your Privacy Settings and set it so only your friends can find stuff you’ve posted. While you might want to make status updates public if you want a wider audience, keeping the majority of your Facebook posts confined to a smaller circle is a wise idea. Basically, once again, it’s a good time to review who sees what. 

To use Graph Search at all, make sure your language is set to English (US) 

If you’ve been amusing yourself by using pirate language this whole time, you might be wondering what Graph Search is. Although the Post and Status functions are only available to a select few, Graph Search is currently available to all users writing in English (US), so adjust your settings accordingly if you want to use it at all. 

Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.