What's the big deal about Facebook's new search tool? Search me

It slices! It dices! Facebook's Graph Search will change life as we know it! Unless it doesn't

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For some, it's enough that Facebook's search used to suck hard, and now it doesn't. Searchblog's John Battelle is practically doing backflips over Graph Search:

The world's largest social network has radically re-engineered its native search experience, and the result is not only much, much better, it's also changed my mind about the company's long-term future.

Alrighty then. Guess it's time to trade in my one share of Google common for 27 shares of Facebook Preferred.

Or maybe not. From the glass-half-empty, cracked, and laced-with-arsenic side of the fence comes PC World's Tony Bradley, who declares Graph Search "an awesome tool for phishing attacks." He writes:

Using Facebook Graph Search, an attacker can narrow down specific targets and customize emails or Facebook messages using compelling details about their lives, their friends, the things that interest them, and the places they've visited.

Wait, can I get my Google stock back?

Yes, we're back to the privacy argument once again -- the crux of every discussion each time Facebook rolls out a new feature. No, Graph Search doesn't change your privacy settings in any way, but it will make your stuff a heckuvalot more accessible to the world. Exactly how accessible and what nasty things might happen as a result remain to be seen.

It's also worth noting that Facebook routinely rolls out new features or services we are told will change life as we know it, only to have them quietly whither away a few months or years later. Remember when Facebook was going to put Netflix out of business with video on demand? No one else does, either. So it may go with Grass Skirt, I mean Grasp Surf, I mean Sass Girth ...

You know what I mean.

Will Graph Search (Search Graph?) change how you use Facebook? Chime in below or email me: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "What's the big deal about Facebook's new search tool? Search me," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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