Time for another reminder that you need to be careful about what you post on Facebook, especially now that it has extended Graph Search to include posts, status updates, comments, photo captions — basically, most of your activity on the social network.
The Menlo Park company announced that it was rolling out the feature starting Monday, touting it as a useful way to search for past activity. Which is true. Who wants to scroll down endlessly to find the post that contained the link to that article you need to refer to again, or the restaurant where your friend had that scrumptious-looking dessert you wanted to try? That’s old news you can use.
But there’s the other kind of old news, perhaps the kind you’d rather forget or could cause your career to go down the toilet. So it might be wise to set aside some time to start sanitizing and flushing. And while the company again says the information that will be searchable is limited to what you’ve shared with friends or the public, it’s a good idea to double-check your privacy settings, as Brandon Bailey wrote for SiliconBeat at the time of the Graph Search rollout in the United States.
What’s in it for Facebook? It has made move after move lately as it battles Twitter and Google for ad revenue: instituting the use of hashtags, a la Twitter, and rolling out Graph Search in an attempt to become competitive with Google. And as the Merc’s Dan Nakaso wrote Monday, Facebook announced that it’s sharing posts and Likes about TV shows with the major networks. In other words, social-network users are not the only ones in a sharing mood, but we already knew that. The more Facebook (and others) can share our information, the happier advertisers will be as they gain more ammunition for target practice. And the targets are us.
Photo of Facebook sign from Mercury News archives