How Facebook’s Graph Search could change the face of local search and travel

Excerpt from TechCrunch

Jan 15, 2013 12:02 pm

Skift Take

Facebook already made life difficult for social travel startups, but its latest move into local discovery will run into the same problem as its wannabe competitors did: The functionality is limited by the quality and tastes of your social graph.

— Jason Clampet

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Facebook this morning unveiled a massive new product called “Graph Search” at a press event at its Menlo Park, California headquarters. While the impact of this debut will be settling in for a while, one thing seems clear from an early demo of the product: Thanks to Graph Search, Facebook is about to be much, much better for finding places such as restaurants, cafes, bars and the like.

… At first look, the interface seems like it could be very competitive with products like Yelp and Foursquare that have been the top dogs in the local search space for the past several years. According to Rasmussen, Graph Search uniquely ranks the placement of places such as restaurants by using a special algorithm that incorporates things including distance, five-star ratings, likes, and check-ins from friends. This ranking algorithm, Rasmussen said, is “something we’ll be improving for a long time.”

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