I think I’m way behind on this but today when searching for Facebook’s advanced search feature, I ended up empty handed. The new search page only displays search by name, school and company. Previously Facebook enabled users to use the advanced search utility to find people by practically all areas of a user’s profile. Now there appears to be no more advanced search feature. I searched the web and couldn’t find any reference to the removal but this is significant.
First, this emphasizes Facebook’s commitment to making the site a social utility to browse among your own friends. There is also no longer a link to browse for users within the new design. While you can access browse by going to the following page, it doesn’t appear to be accessible via any other method. There’s another component of the missing advanced search story which is a little more sinister. It appears that someone has successfully attempted to capitalize on advanced search gone missing.
An application called “Advanced Search” claims to enable users to search through over 80 million users on Facebook. How do they let you do that? Well in the past month alone close to 50,000 people have accessed this application. When you visit the app, it automatically populates a bunch of form fields with you name, gender, birthday, schools you’ve attended, companies you’ve worked at and more. It looks just like Facebook’s standard advanced search which misleads users into submitting their information.
This application would be extremely useful for any of the ad networks that wish to use profile data to target users. The other funny thing about this application? It doesn’t appear to actually provide any advanced search functionality. Instead it simply collects data. When you view the “advanced search application” it states “Welcome to Advanced Search for Facebook – Before you start searching, please check, update and store your details so that other people can search for you.”
It then prompts users to enter there info. If you don’t enter anything, it doesn’t display the search. Yikes! I’ve tried searching for more information on this application which has been popular since last October and I couldn’t find anything. Have you been able to find Facebook’s advanced feature? Have you tried this misleading application? Do you think it should be shut down?