Facebook is soon to be releasing a remarkable search tool that will use the data from over 1 billion monthly active users. This tool is called Facebook Graph Search and will change the way people find people, pages, groups, photos, and just about anything you can imagine using Facebook.

facebook graph search

Researching this search tool, I see a huge potential for artists. Not only will it make it simpler to find and connect with other artists, it can also make it much easer for artists to search out art collectors, and for them to find you. This is a tool that will work along with the Timeline and newsfeed to make the social network more useful for everyone.

At the moment, Graph search is in beta and only available for some people in the U.S. and select users. Go here (Facebook Graph Search) to signup for the waiting list to be notified on Facebook when it is officially released. I signed up and received an invite just a day later!!

In the center of this page, try out a simple sample search using FB Graph Search. This search lists people on Facebook who live in your city or town.

I have come up with a list of potential uses of Facebook Graph Search for artists, and some phrases I will be trying based on other searches I have seen. When released, searches will be based on people, places, photos and interests. As time goes on, Facebook will be expanding the capabilities of the Graph Search, giving many more options and increasing its usefulness.

Uses of Facebook Graph Search for artists

  1. Finding people and pages at Facebook.

    Graph search makes it very easy to search for certain people and pages, especially liked pages and your friends. Just type in part of the name and the result instantly pops up. It uses the people and pages you often visit to find results for searches, making the results all the more relevant for you.

  2. Finding art and photos based on interests.

    search photos facebookType in photos of art and a bunch of results should appear, ordered by popularity - how many likes or comments they received.

    The potential of this is enormous for artists. I can imagine art collectors searching for a certain style an type of art using Facebook Graph Search. They may type in specific phrases for searching artworks, such as photos of horses in [city name].  

    (search results vary depending on friends, and friends of friends)

    Personally, I will be using this both as an inspiration tool, and to find reference photos. I can type in phrases such as photos of icebergs and find many photographs of icebergs. If I want to use the photo, all I will have to do is contact it’s owner for permission.

  3. Finding people who are are not your friends, but should be.

    Facebook has always been very useful for finding family members and friends who have lost contact. Graph search makes it easier than ever to find these people. Find people based on where they work, from your high school or university, their interests, etc.

    For example, type in People at [high school name] who graduated in [year]. This method can help discover people in your past and even lost family members.

    Find other artists by typing in Friends of friends who like art and live in [city].

  4. Finding friends who live in a certain place.

    Let’s say you have a gallery showing or will be attending an event in a certain city, but you do not know anyone there. You can type in Friends of friends who live in [name of city.

  5. Building a professional network on Facebook

    Graph search makes it easy to find other artists, art collectors, art gallery owners, art consultants, and more. Like Linkedin, artist’s can find and and network with other professionals in their field. 

  6. Finding people who buy art

    This is something I am very interested in finding out.  Here are some ideas of phrases I will be trying: 

    People who like art or painting in my city, province or country.
    People who like specific pages for art collectors such as American Art Collector Magazine, The Art Collectors Society, Art Collectors, Art Dealers Collectors & Agents (group) Eg. People from [city name] who like The Art Collectors Society page

    This can also be very useful for finding specific people with an interest in your theme or style of art. For abstract art, type People from [city name] who like abstract art. If you want to find specific groups or pages centered around your theme, type [theme] groups (or pages) located in [city, state, country, etc,]


As I mentioned above, search results vary depending on your friends, and friends of friends. They may not be the same for everyone. Try different phrases, and look at suggestions, to find what you are looking for. I should also add that this is a new tool and still in beta. Facebook will be expanding its capabilities in the coming weeks and months, making it an even more useful search tool.

In a future post, I will be detailing some ways to prepare your Facebook profiles and pages for the new Graph Search tool when it arrives.  Please subscribe to receive this post in your email inbox.

In the meantime, take a look at some outrageous results from some searches in this Tumblr blog: Actual Facebook Graph Searches.

Please comment below and tell us your impressions of the upcoming Facebook Graph Search. Are you concerned about privacy?

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  1. Should all mentioned really happen on your personal Facebook? I don't think so! Yes, if you have set up your own art business-like "page" open to everyone, then the more contacts you find and have the more it may be helpful. BUT NOT ON YOUR PERSONAL FB! Advertising may begin to take over and if in addition to seeing/hearing from your family/friends you will have other things on your personal page you do not want, free or not. It will become clutter and more scams perhaps. That is if all this is what is in the future of Facebook.

  2. That's what I was afraid of. Thanks for reminding me.


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