Last night Facebook launched its new big thing. Mark Zuckerberg called it Graph Search. Look past the terrible name and you will see a very important move, and one which is increasingly changing the way brands promote themselves and their products.
Graph Search is all about contextualising the things you're looking for online. Call it social search and it makes a lot more sense... If you want to find a coffee shop, a movie, a song or a local plumber, search in your social network. If your friends tag, like, comment and chat about the right kind of thing, then you have a more contextualised result from your search.
This is what Google has been doing with its search results for a long time. Only with Facebook the concept is turned on its head: social moving into search, rather than search moving into social. Foursquare has been doing this for a long time too, with its Explore feature.
What does it mean for brands? Increasingly we will need to look way beyond SEO / search engine optimisation - something intrinsic to most brands with a presence online. We will need to look at SSO: social search optimisation. How can you get yourself and your products talked about in social search now that Graph Search is joining the party.
My view: it's all about getting talked about by the opinion formers and then by the masses. Not rocket science for those that embrace social media for their communications already, but campaigns will need to work on a whole new scale.