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Opinion

With Graph Search, It’s Facebook vs. Facebook

By Arun Sundararajan, Associate Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences, NEC Faculty Fellow & Doctoral Coordinator

Arun Sundararajan on Steve Jobs

Giving users complete control over their pasts might be the only way that Facebook continues to see — and mine — their futures.

Facebook announced a series of incremental updates to Graph Search yesterday — as revealed by a peek under the hood — and I think it’s a good thing they’re doing the feature and user release so gradually.

It might be for technology scalability and resource reasons, but it’s also good psychology. A slow and steady rollout gives Facebook time to preserve its feel of a digital living room (or neighborhood bar), a place where we can safely hang out with our friends. It also gives users time to figure out and get comfortable with where their information ends up as it is indexed and made searchable.

Because a steady supply of current preferences and intent is absolutely critical to the success of Graph Search. Yet this supply of social information on Facebook could slow as the very demand for it grows.

And it’s in this tenuous balance of Facebook vs. Facebook — not between Google and Facebook or LinkedIn and Facebook or Twitter and Facebook — that the success of Graph Search and its impact on the company will be determined.

Read full article as published in Wired.