Facebook’s Graph Search officially launches – here’s how to prepare

facebook graph search icon

One of the most coveted Facebook features released earlier this year is undoubtedly the Graph Search, which essentially makes it easier for anyone to find people, photos, places, and interests to connect with and like, and for a long time it was only available to a select number of users. Today, as per Facebook’s blog announcement, the social network will start rolling out the tool to any user that has U.S. English language set to default.

What’s new with Graph Search

According to Facebook, it has improved on Graph Search’s speed at providing results as well as organizing them according to relevance. Users can now expect better intelligence from the function as it now has a wider range of interpreting queries as you make them. It has also been changed from Facebook blue to white, making it easier to spot:


Our first hands-on with Graph Search revealed the many possible things you can find out about your friends. This latest release has expanded its grasp on user information, providing a longer list of search recommendations which now includes People I May Know (which used to be located on the sidebar), located on the top of the queue since it’s obviously the most popular use for Graph Search. Once you enter a friend’s name into the search box, you can immediately check out Friends of, Photos of, and Photos by said contact.


And although it isn’t immediately suggested, you can search any user’s likes that appear on the new Timeline design, such as Music, Movies, TV Shows, Books, and Likes. You can also check people (in the case below, Musicians) related to your original query.


Graph Searching for Restaurants nearby has also improved a little bit, now offering more than a thousand places instead of only a hundred. Information provided per establishment was also increased, so you’ll no longer feel the need to check outside sources.


Why using Graph Search is still a harrowing ordeal

Although Facebook says it has improved Graph Search’s intelligence, it still fails to recognize simple-worded queries some people would deem important. A search like “Filipinos in San Jose, California” returned no results for me … a Filipino … currently in San Jose, California. My dreams of meeting new friends from my homeland via the social networking site have been squashed.

No matter how much Facebook improves the Graph Search function, at the end of the day, it is still a tool that makes it way too easy to snoop on people in your social circle, and most of them have no idea what kind of embarrassing information they are leaving out in the open. With the current state Graph Search is in, conducting an easy self-check is still sort of impossible – you still can’t search your own Timeline for specific posts and comments, so there’s no easy way to delete any content thoughtlessly posted that may compromise your online reputation. Facebook says it is currently working on making that feature possible through Graph Search, so hope is not completely lost.

How to make Graph Search less creepy

Graph Search makes it unbelievably easy to search photos of you posted by someone else, and more often than not, these photos are on the not-so-desirable side. Protect yourself from this kind of unwanted exposure by visiting your profile page and clicking on the Activity Log link located on top of your cover photo. Click on Photos then check out Photos of You to see pictures your friends tag you in. On the top of the list, click on the Shared With dropdown menu to find out which of your photos are available to the Public, your Friends, or Friends of Friends.


 The ones viewable on Public mode are the ones that really need attention. The photos that normally show up are Instagram photos shared on Facebook and photos posted by friends who have lax privacy settings. While you can’t really tell all your friends to beef up their Facebook security for your benefit, you can request them to take down photos of you that they posted. The least you can do is untag yourself and enable Tag Review in your Activity Log so posts by friends that involve you won’t immediately go up on your Timeline without your permission.


Now that you know you are susceptible to a Graph Search based on your personal information, visit your About page through your main profile and go through each section meticulously. Click on Edit and make sure everything is viewable by your intended audience – choosing Friends only for all the sections is recommended.


Continue working your way down your About page until you see the various Interest sections (Movies, Music, Books, etc …). Click on the pencil icon on every section (located on the top right corner) and choose Edit Privacy to control the audience who has access to the things you like.


Finally, ensure that your future posts are secure and privatized by clicking on the padlock icon on the upper right corner of the screen and selecting Who Can See My Stuff – from there you can set who can see your future posts to Friends only.


Note that itty bitty reminder telling you that Graph Search will help people find out more about you, so yeah, these security measures aren’t all for nothing, trust me. In fact, here it is again, showing up after going back to the News Feed:


And of course, you’re going to want to know how to delete your Graph Search history. Because we all know, you’re about to do some serious creepin. 


Google Assistant’s new Visual Snapshot tab prepares you for the day

Ever wish you could get an instant update of your day at a glance? Google Assistant now can show you upcoming travel plans, deliveries, bills and more as a part of the new Visual Snapshot feature. It's available on Android and iOS.

Apple stops offering free repairs for iPhones with grayed speaker buttons

Getting a new iPhone should be a pleasurable experience, but if you run into an issue, it can quickly become frustrating. Luckily, we’ve gathered a few potential solutions for any iPhone 7 problems you may be facing.

Here’s how to turn off camera shutter sound on your Android phone

That clicking shutter sound on your Android phone can get annoying if you like to take lots of pictures. Fortunately, you can disable it. We will walk you through how to turn off the camera shutter sound on your Android phone.

Apple's third iOS 12 beta may help you save a lot of data

At this year's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled its latest operating system, iOS 12. From app updates to group FaceTime, ARKit 2.0, and more, here are all the new features in iOS 12.

Dirt-cheap camping gear that’s actually worth spending your money on

Buying new camping gear can get very expensive, but these products offer great performance without breaking the bank, proving that you don't need to buy name brand equipment to have a good time in the backcountry.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.

Amazon knows it’s in the doghouse over Prime Day glitch

Amazon's on Fire and not in the way it intended. Mere seconds after Amazon's Prime Day went live at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m.PT, the online mega-retailer crashed and burned. The company is apparently working very hard to restore the site.

T-Mobile expands Simple Global plan, offers $5 international day pass for LTE

T-Mobile offers a number of plans for both you and your family, but how do you know which one is best for you and your situation? Here, we break down the specifics of each plan to help you decide.
Social Media

What is Reddit? A beginner’s guide to the front page of the internet

So, what is Reddit exactly? Here, we breakdown the terminology, perks, and various inner workings of everyone's favorite social platform. Understanding the self-proclaimed "front page of the internet" has never been so easy.

Garmin’s latest fitness wearables get a workout boost from Gold’s Gym

Owners of Garmin's latest fitness wearables get a workout boost thanks to a new partnership with Gold's Gym that merges Garmin's fitness tracking with the coaching and music of Gold's AMP app.

The 2018 MacBook Pro just launched. How does it compare to last year's model?

An all-new MacBook Pro 13-inch has finally arrived, bringing with it Intel's powerful quad-core processor. But should you buy the 2018 model or save some cash and get last year's version instead?
Smart Home

A.I.’s humorous side: The funniest things to ask Alexa

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant has a wide repertoire of funny responses, jokes, and hidden replies that you can have fun with. Here are the best funny things to ask Alexa, and examples of what her responses are.
Social Media

Don’t want your ex on your Instagram? You can now remove followers on Android

You've always been able to unfollow those pesky over-posters or ex-significant others on Instagram, but never before have you had the option to exercise such control over your own photo stream. Until now.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu and Hulu with Live TV? We've got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue: The master guide to Sony’s internet TV service

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, it's plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.

Tesla has shortened its Model 3 wait time to just one to three months

Production of the Tesla Model 3 has officially begun. Tesla's long-awaited entry-level model is far cheaper than the Model S and will compete head-to-head with the Chevrolet Bolt EV. We drove it and concluded it lives up to the hype.

Relive 1998 as live chat rooms roll out across Reddit in a limited beta

Reddit is slowly rolling out real-time chat rooms across a limited number of subreddits. Currently in beta, Reddit Chat went live in 2017 for a small group of around 7,000 users. Reddit is now expanding this service.

Tinder begins testing Bitmoji feature in Mexico and Canada using Snap Kit

Using Snapchat's latest developer platform known as Snap Kit, Tinder has begun testing the Bitmoji feature in Mexico and Canada. By connecting their Snapchat and Tinder accounts, users are able to send Bitmojis through the dating app.

3 simple things you can do to step up your selfie game

Taking a selfie might seem simple enough, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Here are three elements to keep in mind the next time you take a selfie to share on social media.

What is portrait mode? How tech helps smartphones capture a better you

Several years ago, portrait modes started showing up on phones and quickly became one of the most popular ways to capture selfies, profile pics, and more. But how does portrait mode work, and how much difference does it make?
Social Media

You could soon shop on Snapchat with a new visual search tool called Eagle

Shopping and Snapchat could soon be synonymous. As originally reported by TechCrunch, the popular social media platform is experimenting with a new visual search feature called "Eagle."

Ready to party? Pinterest expands group boards with new activity feed, threads

Pinning with a group? Pinterest group boards are now more conversation-friendly. A new activity board collects all the changes in one place, while new threads encourage group conversations among the Pins and comments.