Facebook recently (and finally) rolled out its Graph Search feature, which allows users to search and sift through virtually any post on the site from mobile devices. That’s a massive amount of search power, but according to a column in TechCrunch, it’s an even bigger deal than we realize.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has indexed over 1 trillion Facebook posts. That is a staggering amount of information that can be used to track your life – and the lives of everyone you know – for as long as everyone has been on the site. Not only can this information be plumbed by advertisers, but it can even be used to predict future behavior. Anyone can search through your content with a few simple keywords, and dig up any old embarrassing post from years and years ago. What’s more, Facebook is barely scratching the surface of what it can do with all of your information.
“You could say Facebook knew a lot about us before, but didn’t understand it until now, like a student with the facts memorized who finally learned how they piece together into history,” wrote TechCrunch’s Josh Constine. “Facebook’s product depends on guessing what we want based on who we were. Before, that meant who we said we were, which friends we communicated with, what we liked, and where we browsed. Now, to Facebook, we’re also what we said, and that says a lot.”
If you’re on the hunt for a job, work in the public eye or merely want to make sure your content is private, it’s a good idea to run a few quick searches on yourself and make sure your info isn’t more exposed than you think it is.