Facebook offers a search form at the top of every page. This can be used by logged in Facebook users to find people or groups on the social networking site. Recently the search was improved by adding Bing search results to some user queries. If you search for wine for instance you find Wine groups on Facebook and below those Bing search results.
The results can be filtered by clicking on one of the available filters in the left sidebar. It is for instance possible to only display people, applications, web results or groups in the results.
- People: helps you find people you know on Facebook. To narrow your people search, just type a location, school, or workplace in the appropriate field and click the "Refine Search" button.
- Pages: helps you find Pages that interest you on Facebook. To narrow your Pages search, select a Page type from the drop-down menu at the top of your search results.
- Groups: helps you find groups on Facebook that are related to your search. Groups that can be seen by everyone are viewable in search results; secret groups are not viewable in search results. To further refine your groups search, select a group type from the drop-down menu at the top of your search results.
- Applications: helps you find applications by outside developers that interest you.
- Events: helps you find events on Facebook that are related to your search. Events that can be seen by everyone are viewable in search results; secret events are not viewable in search results. To narrow your events search, select a date and/or event type from the drop-down menus at the top of your search results.
- Web Results: helps you find relevant web information outside of Facebook that is related to your search.
- Posts by Friends: helps you find status updates and other content your friends have posted that are related to your search. To narrow your search, select a post type from the drop-down menu at the top of your search results.
- Posts by Everyone: helps you find status updates and other content from anyone who enables their posts to be viewed by people other than friends. To narrow your search, select a language and/or post type from the drop-down menus at the top of your search results.
Facebook usually tries to determine the best fit for the search term automatically. For wine it is groups, for names it is people that will be displayed in the search results. The only parameter that I know that works in Facebook Search is the | (pipe) which means or in the search. You can search for Name1 | Name2 to find results for either name. The Facebook search form is not the only option to search the site. Users have additional options to search on Facebook. Lets start with the options that are available directly on Facebook:
The Search for Friends on Facebook page offers help to find people on Facebook. Facebook users can make use of the search page to find users by name or email, school classes or companies.
The search results are displayed on the standard search results page. This is the same page that users see who use the search on top of every Facebook page.
A more sophisticated option is provided by the Find Friends page. It only allows to search for people but offers a better functionality than the default Facebook search. Here it is possible to use data from third party services such as Skype, Gmail or Yahoo to find friends on Facebook. Please note that this means that Facebook will be able to access the data at the other service.
Facebook People Search is special, as it allows everyone to search for people on Facebook. Everyone means that users do not have to be logged in to use the search.
There is even an option to browse Facebook users by name. Simply click on a letter to browse the people directory of Facebook users whose last name start with the letter. The privacy settings determine whether Facebook users appear in the listing.
The very same page can be used to search for groups, pages and applications without having to be logged in to Facebook.
Facebook search applications are another option to enhance the search on Facebook. Facebook Advanced Search is just one of the search applications available on Facebook. These applications usually only provide a more sophisticated way of searching the same set of information on Facebook.
It is possible to use other search engines like Google or Bing to search Facebook. The main advantage of using an external search engine is that it offers advanced parameters that Facebook search does not offer. Both Bing and Google Search. The advanced search parameter that can be used on both search engines is
Just enter the phrase in the search form followed by a search term. You can enter people, applications, groups and everything else in the search form to find information on Facebook.
This search query can be combined with other search parameters, like OR, And, - or + which makes it a very powerful option to search Facebook.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.