No Name? No Problem! Understanding Facebook Search

By April 22, 2015Private Investigator


Facebook Graph Search: Find Someone With Little Information

There are many reasons you might want to find somebody: maybe they hurt you or you just want to get to know them better. Social media has made it easier than ever to find people that you know, or who you don’t know, even when you don’t know their name. Facebook has millions of users around the world so if you want to find somebody, this is the best place to start. Using Facebook’s search engine makes it easier than ever to find people based on location, common interests, and common friends, without knowing that person’s name.

Started in a Harvard college dorm, today Facebook is a social media platform where people around the world connect with other people. Depending on the privacy settings of other users, you can view profiles, status updates and pictures of people. As long as you know what a person looks like or what their interests are, you can usually find them on Facebook, with or without their name.

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How Does Graph Search Work?

The graph search was first implemented by Facebook in 2012 and although they have recently optimized it by removing Bing search engine’s functionality, the main search function of the site is still great for finding people (obviously). Through Graph Search, you are able to find other users based on recent check-in points, interest, locations, posts, photos, places, Pages, Groups, and apps.  Now, you can even use Facebook’s search engine to find places and then view the recent check-ins to find the person you are looking for. For example, you are involved in a car accident where the other driver was leaving a business. They give you the wrong name and phone number so you cannot get a hold of their insurance company to ensure that they will repair any damage you incurred.  As you look through the profiles, you could find one with a picture of the person who hit you. Through Facebook, our investigators have occasionally had to lookup specific details about a person for a social media investigation, but Facebook can be used by anyone, not just us.

How to Best Utilize Search Filters

When you’re searching for someone on Facebook, you can narrow down your search results with profile specific keywords and common interests through likes that you might share with the individual. Using the graph search, you are able to locate people based on anything found in their profile. This means that if you searched for a bar in your area, the profiles of others who liked the bar or checked in there would come up in the search results. All the user would have to do is simply start typing in the search engine box at the top of the page and the results would appear. The results would be based on apps, people and places, so if you wanted to know about people who liked the place, you would click on “people” and it would only show you the people while omitting the results you didn’t want. For instance, if you met a person at a bar and wanted to get to know them better, you could search for the bar and then narrow the search to people, which would limit the results to people who like the bar. As you look through the profiles, you could easily find the picture of the person you were looking for, get their name and location from their profile, or even become friends with them.

What Information You Need For Graph Search

You do not need to know the name of the person you are looking for on Facebook, but you should have at least have a description of what they look like. The more information you have, the better chance you will have of finding them. You should at least know what city they live in, where they work or go to school, or what interests they might have. If you have any one of these bits of information, you can usually find someone on Facebook.

Private investigators know how to use social media to locate people for any reason.  They will be able to find who you are looking for, even if you don’t know their name. If you live in or near New York City or New Jersey and think you might need a private investigator, click here to get your free consultation!

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