As if “What’s on your mind” isn’t lame enough, Facebook is now prompting us to include how we’re “feeling”. Have you noticed some friends in your feed are “feeling happy” or “feeling sad”? Maybe they’re “feeling tired” so they’re “drinking coffee” (insert cute coffee cup icon).
Allow me to geek out for a minute:
The beauty of the Graph Search is that Facebook has years and years of indexed data and they are finally introducing an algorithm that makes this data actually searchable and useful to users, and not just advertisers. Think of it as Google on methamphetamines and “feeling ridiculously productive”. So, if you’re a mountain biker, and you want to search for other bikers in your area that “like” a specific bike brand or bike shop – Graph Search can produce those results. Within minutes you can find friends within your network and even strangers that fit your criteria and create your own cycling team.
Graph Search makes advertising even more transparent, because now businesses can target you based on places you’ve checked in to, photos you’ve uploaded, and even where you are – in real time (scary, huh!).
Adding your feelings to your status will take the Graph Search results one step further. By prompting you to say how you’re feeling or what eating, drinking or even watching, Facebook is spoon-feeding you options to easily collect and track this data to target you even more precisely. Imagine if Prozac wanted to display an ad to anyone who was “feeling depressed” or “feeling sad”. This is suddenly very, very possible.
But here’s what I think should really happen with this data:
I want Facebook and my local retailers to use my data and emotions beyond the sponsored ads that are disrupting my news feed. When I post up: Just biked 55 miles – “feeling hungry”, I’d like my local bike shop to call me and recommended that it’s time for new tires. And, as soon as I hang up the phone, I’d like there to be a knock at my door with my local grocer delivering my favorite post-ride foods. Because if local retailers can combine my purchase history with my Facebook emotions, I will be “feeling happy happy happy”.