January 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Facebook Graph Search Ties Music to Everything Else

facebook open graphFacebook already lets you see what people listen to in Facebook-connected music apps, check out which bands they like, and even unfriend them for liking the wrong band.

On Tuesday, at its big Apple-style press event in Menlo Park, California, Facebook took that concept to the next level by allowing you to see what music people who like something else like. As an example, you’ll be able to find out what music people who like Tabasco and live in your hometown have Liked.

Facebook director of product management Tom Stocky took the stage at today’s event to demonstrate a new Extended Search function, which will appear as a larger blue-backed search bar at the top of the page, using political figures as an example.

“Let’s do music liked by people who like Mitt Romney: Johnny Cash, Metallica, Pink Floyd” said Stocky. “Okay, so let’s do music liked by people who like Obama. Okay, they have the Beatles in common.”

Facebook Graph Search can also search for dentists who your friends have Liked on Facebook, television shows . But since connections have been empirically proven between music and politics, Stocky’s example seems to be quite apt.

You’ll be able to aim this new search function at all of public Facebook, just your friends, friends of friends, people in a certain place, and possibly using other factors, which could provide a way for fans of obscure bands to find each other in small towns, among other things.

Facebook Graph Search — and with it, the ability to see what music people who like a hair salon, a band, or anything else on Facebook also like — will roll out to all Facebook users “very slowly” starting today, according to Mark Zuckerberg, who added that “It’s going to take years and years to index the whole Graph,” but that “we want to index all of the posts, and all of the content on Facebook.”

For now, it’s clear that people’s Facebook Likes are not a perfect reflection of their likes — in part because most people don’t spend all day cataloging their every predilection on the social network, and in part because of stuff like this. Facebook Graph Search could give them a new reason to do so, because do you really want your friends’s searches for “my friends who like the show Girls” to come up without your name, when they know you simply love it? Maybe not — and suddenly, you have a new reason to consider Liking things on Facebook: to make it official.

That’s all we know about Facebook Graph Search’s music implications for now. Expect more as the new feature rolls out (update: how it was made). Facebook also posted this Sigur Ros-backed video to explain the new feature:

(via Ars Technica’s live blog; screenshot via Facebook)