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Facebook Announces Changes to Graph Search and Enables Post Editing

Chelsey Walters

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New Graph Search will provide a peek into the past

On October 1, 2013, Facebook announced it will include posts and status updates in Graph Search. As a result, users will now be able to search for status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments that have been shared with them, including any posts that are shared publicly by people whom they are not friends with. Previously, Graph Search indexed only information from user profiles, such as their relationship status and their page likes.

With the updated Graph Search, Facebook will give users a better look into the past. We already know consumers are likely to turn to friends or family members for product recommendations, and now they will have the power to determine whether these trusted resources have posted about a particular brand in the past. Any good or bad experience a user may have discussed can now easily be found and read using Graph Search. As a result, it will be even more important for brands to consistently provide excellent service and support for their customers. In addition to allowing users to find past discussions, Graph Search also will allow users to search for posts about trending topics by searching for current events their friends are discussing such as “posts about government shutdown.”

In future iterations, Graph Search could potentially also be a new place for Facebook to advertise. Right now, Graph Search ads still rely on the same targeting techniques used for most Facebook ads, but time will tell if the new Graph Search will help improve these targeting techniques. It also remains to be seen if Facebook will follow Google’s lead and blend targeted advertisements into search results.

Updates will be editable but still leave a trail

Another new change is the ability to edit status updates. Prior to this enhancement, updates that needed to be edited had to be deleted from the page, losing any likes or comments that were associated with it. The new editing capability gives users the ability to correct spelling mistakes and grammatical errors without having to lose any engagement on the post. While status updates can be edited, we recommend that page owners use the feature cautiously — even when using business accounts — because the original post will remain visible and the editing history will be visible to everyone. Posts that are unapproved, non-compliant or otherwise need to be edited will still have to be deleted because of the editing history visibility. The image below shows the history that users will see when reviewing the post edit history:

Another key consideration of this new editing ability is how it will affect Shares. Page administrators will not be notified if a post shared from another company’s page has been edited since the time of sharing. This raises potential concerns, as the possibility arises that the content could be changed without the sharing page knowing about the edited or updated content of the post. This means that a page could share a post, only to have the content of their share changed when the originating page makes an edit or update, potentially making it non-compliant.

Updated page insights provide new information

Facebook also has announced that they will begin rolling out an updated version of page insights on October 8. As of right now, the details of the changes are limited to the following information; page owners will now be able to:

  1. Monitor what’s working and not working for your page
  2. Understand more about the people who like your page and engage with your posts

Graph Search, comment editing and updated insights continue to evolve as Facebook grows. We will continue to publish updates as new features are tested.

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