Facebook’s browse feature: an attempt to lure you onto Graph Search

facebook testing browse feature lure onto graph search button

Some of Facebook’s features debut with fanfare, while others are quietly introduced. One intriguing function flying under the radar: the social network’s browse feature. You can access it in the News Feed sidebar, and it sends users to randomly generated Graph Searches

Pressing on the Browse button will send you to a pre-selected Graph Search based on your friends, networks, location, or interests. The first time, I got “Movies liked by people who have similar interests to mine.” It confirmed my affinity for Clueless but also taught me something surprising: Apparently, my interests are aligned with Scarface. I didn’t know I had the tastes of an upper-middle-class undergrad bro, but OK. Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 3.01.54 PM

For my second Browse experience, the category Facebook selected was “People who will graduate from St. Ignatius College Prepatory School in 2005 and are not my friend.” This weird, grammatically incorrect category was basically a list of people from my high school who have de-friended me, so thanks for that confidence killer, experimental Browse feature, I hate you. 

Hoping to come up with something less esteem-destroying, I tried a few more browses. I got “Cover photos liked by my friends,” (which taught me that my friends enjoy scenic cover photos), “Favorite Books of Toronto, Ontario Residents,” which taught me that people in Ontario really like Eckhart Tolle, and … “People Who Are Not My Friends Who Went to St. Ignatius College Prepatory School” yet another catalog of people I’ve loved, lost, and gotten de-friended by in what MUST be a misunderstanding. 

Based on my experiences with the Browse feature, it is both a way to make you feel sad about being disliked by your former high school classmates … and a pretty obvious attempt on Facebook’s behalf to get people to use Graph Search. OK, it’s mostly just a way to get people to use Graph Search. 

Anyone else see the “Browse” option in their sidebar and gotten fewer soul crushing results? 

Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Music

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.