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Facebook rolling out Graph Search

Facebook Graph SearchFacebook released a major new service called “Graph Search” on the 15th January, which it is now rolling out to users who have opted to try it.  This appears to be a surprisingly intelligent search tool which will allow Facebook users to search for information on Facebook.

Searchable information will include photos, status updates and likes. Some examples of the searches you could carry out, provided by Facebook, include “friends who like dancing”, “photos of my friends before 1995” and “bands my friends listen to”. These are “natural searches”. When Graph Search cannot find what the Facebook user is looking for, the search will be powered by Microsoft’s Bing and notably not Google. 

Whilst Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg insisted that it was not a web search and therefore not a challenge to Google, it was seen by many in the industry as the next step in the on going Facebook vs Google battle.

The launch of Graph Search immediately led to complaints that Facebook was once again playing fast and lose with users privacy. However, Graph Search only reveals what users had already allowed to be seen. So, for example, if you have a photo album that can only be viewed by your friends then only your friends will be able to find those photos when using Graph Search. However, if you have a photo album that is set so that all Facebook users can find it, then all Facebook users could, in theory, come across your photos if they put the right search into Graph Search. Graph Search just allows you to find what fellow users have already opted to share with you.

To read more about our services for Facebook, click here.

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DBS discusses Facebook on BBC Radio Lincolnshire

James from DBS discusses Facebook on BBC Radio LincolnshireDBS Internet Marketing’s Social Media expert, James Hopkins, was interviewed by Peter Levy on The Peter Levy Show this afternoon as part of an item about Facebook. The premise of the interview was that people are leaving Facebook in “droves”, partly caused by privacy issues.

Speaking after the interview, James said: “Peter Levy argued that around 600,000 less people used Facebook in the UK in December than previously, but that is a very small number when you consider that around 33million people in the UK use Facebook – approximately 52% of the population. As Facebook was only launched in 2004, and was only opened to the general UK public to use in 2006, it is phenomenal to think that over half the UK population has started using this site in 6 years.

“The UK has the second highest Facebook usage in the world in terms of percentage of the population, beaten only by the USA. Facebook has 1 billion users worldwide, which it has gained in 8 years. It has grown at a phenomenal rate, and it stands to reason that it cannot keep growing at that rate forever. 

“Saying that, we are seeing businesses coming to us in droves wanting to have company pages on Facebook. Facebook is always evolving, and whereas it started being a site for college students only, businesses are now finding they need to have a presence on Facebook. This might help explain the drop in usage over the Christmas period”.

James argued that Facebook’s privacy settings allowed users to choose exactly what other people could and couldn’t see on their Facebook profile. Peter Levy also discussed the “graph search” which Facebook launched yesterday, which we will blog about in a separate, indepth post.

UPDATED 17:48 Click HERE to listen to the interview

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Mobile internet use continued to grow in 2012

Before and after

A report out just before Christmas showed that more people are now accessing the internet through methods other than a desktop or laptop computer.

In 2011, 83% of time spent on the internet was by people using laptops or desktop computers, but in 2012 this had reduced by 10 percentage points to 73%.

Instead, people were spending more time accessing the internet through mobile phones (17% of time spent on the internet was through a mobile device, up from 12% in 2011), through tablets (6% of time spent on the internet, double the 3% of 2011) and through connected TVs (4% of time spent on the internet, double 2011’s figure of 2%).

To cater for this continuing growth in accessing the internet through mobile devices, DBS Internet Marketing recommends that all businesses and individuals should make their website smartphone friendly. Many websites do not display properly on mobile phones, which can be frustrating for your clients, and if they have difficulty finding what they want may quickly leave your site for a competitor. DBS can fix this so that your site displays perfectly on whatever size screen it is been viewed, whether it is a PC screen, tablet or smartphone – see here for full details.

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