If I were Facebook, I would not have had a big ass press conference to announce Graph Search. I would have just tested it with my user base and gotten some feedback. I would have then used the next 3-6 months to tweak and perfect it. It is not such a great innovative thing if you think about it, after all they own the data and they should make it searchable/usable in better ways. I wouldn’t have put a not-so-warm-and-fuzzy-Zuck to come to a press conference and explain to the media how it works. Probably, I would have taken out one of those “people-oriented” ads (that Apple is famous for) and focus on helping people find stuff to do and to do it with using Graph Search. Instead, they went public with a media/press conference. What happened? Rumors floated about a new Facebook phone. Big expectations were set. And when you talk about “Graph Search”, it pales in comparison to the bloated rumors and expectations. And when that happens, people get upset, and stock price drops, even if some think the drop is an overreaction. Zuck said “it’s the coolest thing they have done in a while”. Really? That’s the best you can come up with, Facebook, with all your money and brain power? And then there is privacy which Facebook isn’t know to care or think much about sometimes. Probably what prompted Anil Dash to tweet what’s probably on your mind as well. And then there is the name: it couldn’t be any more geekier even if Zuck himself had to come up with it (he probably did). Now, there are suggestions for better names, yawn!
Look, in the long run, Graph Search is going to be useful to Facebook, and I am sure it’s been taken note of at Google, Microsoft and others, but not in a major OMG way, except for poor Yelp! yelping about their stock price getting dinged a bit too much. But, if that is the most innovative thing they think they can come up with, are you impressed? They have the data, they better figure out ways to use it and make it more valuable. So I expect it, and for meeting expectations, I don’t think we should be impressed. I need to be wowed! I need them to show how they can keep me on it and not lose 1.4 million active users.
But one thing is sure. Graph Search is sure better than a Facebook phone. Trust me on this one.