January 16, 2013

Giraffe Search

Oops, I mean "graph search."

Have you ever heard a stupider name for a product? It's the name Facebook announced for its new search function yesterday.

I know, social media weenies like to call your network of linked friends your "social graph." But who the hell knows that except geekazoid maniacs?

So giraffe search is supposed to make Facebook more money by competing with Google. Not sure I buy it.

Google is nice and clean. You buy a word and there you are, right at the top of the page. No muss, no fuss.

Giraffe search, if I understand it properly (which is highly unlikely) is not nearly so clean.

According to Business Insider, the idea behind giraffe search is to reinvigorate the "like" function on Facebook. I think the logic goes like this:

You search for pizza places in Oakland. Giraffe search scours your Facebook friends and finds pizza places in Oakland that they have "liked." The search results reflect the number of likes that pizza places in Oakland have compiled from your friends.

In order to show up as a search result, some of your friends first have to have "liked" something. So if you're a marketer there is no direct way to improve your chances of appearing in a search result. You have to somehow get more people to "like" you, in the hope that if they do you will show up in more giraffe search results.

It sounds a little too complicated and a little too indirect for my simple mind.

It may convince some gullible suckers to increase their spending with Facebook in order to up their "likes." But I have a feeling "likes" 15 minutes are about up.

In the meantime, we'll keep an eye on giraffe search for you.


Anonymous said...

On reflection, this seems like a really smart play for FB. Social Media Marketing Gurus now have the perfect excuse to advocate "engagement" and "brand interaction" and all that other BS (that's how you get people to "like" your brand!); and they are still perfectly unaccountable for the outcome, which is at several steps' remove from their marketing spending. So now they can spend wildly on FB campaigns and sound like geniuses, while FB makes out like a bandit. And so the Circle of Suck -- excuse me, I mean the Circle of Zuck is complete.

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight... if I own a pizza joint all I gotta do is get people to like me on Facebook and folks will find me on giraffe search? What if I buy a whole bunch of likes (actual Zombies will create a Facebook profile just for the purpose of selling the likes). Then lotsa people will find me on griaffe search and business will be booming! Wow, it seems like it would be easier to run digital coupons or "sieze the deal" TV/radio spots. Call me skeptical.

Jules Richmond said...

I have yet to see what Facebook's graph search will do, once it's officially rolled out for everyday consumption, but I'm not keeping my fingers crossed. Personally, the guys there are in for a marketing nightmare.

Profits from social media? I'd call it a loss.

Anonymous said...

If I understand correctly, it's not just 'likes' that will show up on giraffe search. If I have checked in to a coffee shop or a photo of mine has been tagged with the coffee shop as the location, it will show up when my friend searches for coffee shops.

And zombie accounts on facebook wont really affect the search, unless you are friends with a zombie user.

Jim Powell said...

Why would I search for a giraffe or a pizza or a coffee shop on the Facebook again?

ad-qaeda said...

So is this what we have come to? People can't decide on a pizza place without first consulting their social graph? And even if you do get a recommendation, does this remotely mean you'll like it too, just because you KNOW someone who likes it?

"Would you like extra insecurity on your pizza sir?"

Chris Seiger said...

It worked for me.

I found my giraffe.

Larry Hynes said...

Those damn giraffes:

"Graph Search is no more a slam dunk for local / interest intent harvesting than me yelling across an auditorium for which doctor I should see for my cough... "