I was getting ready to have a chat with Simon Hoban on BBC Radio Merseyside about reports that Facebook would be dead or thereabouts in 36 months. Hunting for things Facebook had done in recent years, I upturned reports of countless privacy intrusions, unpopular group video tools, and that Facebook email thing that never really caught on.
And Graph Search. That fascinating feature that turned Facebook into a not-very-good equivalent of Google. Theory being you can do things like add search terms into the ‘address bar’ for Facebook, like ‘Find Bouncers from Liverpool who Like Wild Things and Geoff Capes‘.
That’s not to say Graph Search isn’t infinitely powerful or revealing. It has piqued the curiosity of many a web delver like @TomScott who maintains a Graph Search Tumblr blog showing comedy and sometimes quite distressing results. And it’s also quite good if you just want to see which boozers have been patronised by your friends.
But it’s all bollocks if you haven’t got the keys to the castle. I’d been waiting about a year for Facebook to wake the heck up and send me an invite to join the party.
And with no sign of one appearing now or ever, just as I never got that coveted golden ticket of a Facebook email address (yes – I’m bitter), I started doing some digging.
I found out how you can get into Graph Search. And it’s stupid simple.
You log on to Facebook, yeah? I’m gonna show you the desktop version because it’s what I did and I don’t have time to check whether you can do it on a mobile app. If you can, post in the comments and relieve those who want to give it a shot but only have three keypresses before they’re dead and they want to make sure they’re the right ones.
So you’re logged in. You go click the cog, top right hand corner of the window, and then drag your mouse or finger (I know I have some readers who use Microsoft Surfaces, and I sympathise with that) down to Settings.
Then you go and change your language to English (US). And click Save, or Apply, or whatever.
And then you hit the Facebook logo top left of the window and huzzah: instant brand new-lookin’ Facebook with Graph Search squirted inside!
I added a screengrab over there somewhere for the bonkers. Doesn’t tell you much but those in the blog world say without images we might as well not exist.
I hope you learned much.
Hat tip to @wobable for showing me how to unlock the door to Facebook Graph Search.
Enjoyed this lesson for content strategy success? Get in touch on Twitter @davethackeray and let me know your thoughts.