Lonely hearts and internet creeps rejoice! “Facebook stalking” just got a heck of a lot easier.

Woah, check out that chick's Facebook profile! Photo: AP

The new “graph search” function announced by Mark Zuckerberg today will turn Facebook into the world’s largest matchmaking site. Think of it as eHarmony’s loaded, arrogant cousin.

Facebook users will now be able to sift efficiently through the profiles of other members, finding people with common interests and, well, coveting them. Clever lovelorns could even narrow their searches to the pages of “friends of friends who are single”.

Any public information on your Facebook profile will be searchable. That could include the lame pages you liked back in high school for a cheap giggle, photos you’re tagged in, or even your status updates, depending on how well you navigate the site’s ever changing privacy settings.

Let’s give it a try, shall we?

Are you an unattached female who loves not having swine flu, laughs randomly when remembering something, enjoys immature sexual innuendos and hates Rainbow Road in Mario Kart? I’d like to meet you – we have so much in common!

Now, if I were a lonely lover-to-be, the next step would be to send you a creepy, faux-suave private message.

“Hey there, scrumptious. You don’t know me, but I’d like to know you. I’m a sexy friend of Sarah’s. I see that you like ice cream and long walks on the beach. Me too! We should totally hang out sometime.”

Men really do write stuff like that. Some of us even expect it to work.

So ladies, either seal your Facebook profile away from prying eyes or get ready to deal with such irresistible male charm much more often.

Few would have fingered Mark Zuckerberg as a future matchmaker extraordinaire in his younger days, but that’s what he has become. Actual dating sites cannot match the accessibility or reach of Facebook.

Specialist matchmakers usually require you to fill out long, tedious surveys about your interests, as well as your preferences when it comes to the opposite sex. Facebook doesn’t need to do that. It already knows pretty much everything about you, and a billion or so other people.

The company’s shares dropped sharply in response to today’s announcement, but this business idea may work in the long run.

If Facebook does eventually tank as a social media site, like MySpace and Bebo before it, Zuckerberg should consider converting it into a proper dating service. He’d certainly have a big head-start over the competition.

Come to think of it, maybe young Mark is a greater visionary than any of us realise. He has seen the future, and the plan is already in motion.

Twitter: @SamClench

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

Most commented

46 comments

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    • Sync says:

      09:43am | 16/01/13

      Just one more reason for me to stay away from social media sites like Facebook.

    • Colin says:

      10:54am | 16/01/13

      @ Sync

      And “The Punch”..! ..Oh…hang on…

    • Audra Blue says:

      11:00am | 16/01/13

      +1 for this.  Every time I read about stuff like this, I’m insanely glad I’m not on Facebook

    • John says:

      04:28pm | 16/01/13

      How do you know you’re not on there Audra? You might not have an account, but that doesn’t stop other people from uploading photos of you on there without your knowledge. I’ve had it happen to me, some people just have no manners.

    • Hannah says:

      09:48am | 16/01/13

      Few would have fingered Mark Zuckerberg as a future matchmaker extraordinaire in his younger days,....

      might want to check the spelling of figured

    • Zeus says:

      10:11am | 16/01/13

      Fingered in this context is s another way to say “singled out” or “picked” or “predicted”.

    • Ohcomeon says:

      10:24am | 16/01/13

      Unless he meant fingered, which is perfectly acceptable in context. ie to point at, to mark out.

    • Sam Clench

      Sam Clench says:

      10:45am | 16/01/13

      Spot on guys. A+

    • Philosopher says:

      11:08am | 16/01/13

      clearly a significant issue, if Zeus Himself sees fit to intervene. Dear Sir, am I to toss one golden ram or two onto the pyre? I am hoping for a profitable year.

    • Laura says:

      02:35pm | 16/01/13

      My hasty mind read “Few would have fingered Mark Zuckerberg in his younger days”

      What was that about immature sexual innuendo?

    • Philosopher says:

      03:05pm | 16/01/13

      I know many who would GIVE him the finger… for instance, me! *flips bird to MZ*

      that felt pretty good, actually.

    • TheRealDave says:

      09:50am | 16/01/13

      Whats wrong with meeting women the proper way??

      3am, Drunk and in dim lighting??

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      12:48pm | 16/01/13

      The next morning..

    • Philosopher says:

      01:12pm | 16/01/13

      the next doctor’s appointment.

    • subotic says:

      03:09pm | 16/01/13

      The next door neighbour.

    • Tom says:

      10:12am | 16/01/13

      Facebook has jumped the shark

    • Ohcomeon says:

      10:50am | 16/01/13

      The phrase jump the shark has jumped the shark.

      Jumping the shark means that something (usually an artistic endevour) has sold out its heart to become successful, while dropping the very things that made it attractive in the first place.

      Facebook was always focused on money from the beginning.

      Nowadays people just use the phrase to mean ‘something Im now bored of’.

    • Andrew says:

      11:15am | 16/01/13

      Nuke the fridge?

    • Sam says:

      12:56pm | 16/01/13

      I thought Jumping the shark means Fonzie jumping over a shark while waterskiing to try to reinvigorate ratings in Happy Days, i.e., do something outrageous to attract attention when interest is dwindling.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ZGKI8vpcg

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:58pm | 16/01/13

      Ohcomeon
      Jump the Shark refers to an episode of Happy Days where The Fonz waterskiid over a shark. It is accepted that episode began the downhill slide for Happy Days. Hence we now have the term “jump the shark” to refer to when something is on the downhill slide and losing popularit/quality.

      As for Facebook: seems like the one thing that set it apart from MySpace is now being lost. I got sick of MySpace and the constant emails from bands asking me to come and see them. I saw the MySpace email accounts of girls who’d have dozen of guys randomly contact them with barely intelligible English. They’d always be asking for dates or sex. Facebook seems like it will end up being the same as it will be easier to click and find profiles.

    • subotic says:

      01:03pm | 16/01/13

      Smack the hamster?

    • Meph says:

      02:58pm | 16/01/13

      @subotic

      wrong euphemism dude raspberry

    • subotic says:

      03:07pm | 16/01/13

      Split the gerbil?

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      10:13am | 16/01/13

      @Sam

      “Few would have fingered Mark Zuckerberg as a future matchmaker extraordinaire in his younger days”

      Don’t believe everything you see in Hollywood movies, particularly ones that prefer to tell a good story than tell the truth.

      Zuckerberg invented a social networking system.  That’s not much different from a social matchmaking system.  It’s still just bringing people together.

      My biggest problem with Facebook is not the central idea, but he implementation.  They just don’t care about privacy.

      At the end of the day, Facebook simply wants to sell us.  Ideally, it wants access to our private thoughts, relationships and activities. And it wants to sell them.

    • Modern Primitive says:

      10:50am | 16/01/13

      And? If you don’t like it you don’t have to sign up to it. You also don’t have to buy anything from the ads they put in it.

    • SimpleSimon says:

      10:20am | 16/01/13

      When I read about this this morning, my first thoughts were 1) disappointment that this was all the announcement was after the build up, and 2) that this could be something easily exploitable.

      I then thought about it a bit more and realised that it’s really not a big deal. If your information is public anyway, then all this does is provide another means of finding it. If people don’t want their information public, they should take the time and effort to make it private. Ignorance is not an excuse for having your own lax approach to privacy exploited.

      I think it’s kind of a cool feature and am thinking of signing up for the beta release.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:21am | 16/01/13

      That wouldn’t be my kind of woman TheRealDave

    • b2 says:

      10:22am | 16/01/13

      care factor = zero

    • subotic is anti-social says:

      10:31am | 16/01/13

      Faceook?

      Facepalm….

    • Roxanne Ford says:

      10:44am | 16/01/13

      I don’t see a problem. Just keep privacy at maximum and post minimal. I hardly ever do post, but always get a laugh out of how much people actually do.

    • Chillin says:

      11:16am | 16/01/13

      Don’t judge a Facebook, by it’s cover.

    • SAm says:

      11:41am | 16/01/13

      Hates Rainbow Road?
      Lemme guess, you could never quite get that shortcut jump right smile

    • Sam Clench

      Sam Clench says:

      12:19pm | 16/01/13

      Exactly. So you know about rainbow road… say SAm, do you have a Facebook account? wink

    • Don says:

      12:19pm | 16/01/13

      “The leading social network also became a publicly traded company, albeit not a particularly successful one; the stock began trading on May 18 at $42; as of Wednesday, it had declined to $26.51. This move means that Facebook, which is constantly gathering more data about our lives, is now facing even greater pressure to find ways to profit from this information.”

      Tell me this is going to end well…...

    • Fiddler says:

      12:58pm | 16/01/13

      like it has never been used for this before. I have had a number of females I had never heard of add me wanting to ummm…. Meet up and a few attractive female friends of mine have told me that they receive daily messages of the sort you made. One of these friends would screenshot them and post the messages for us all to chortle at.

      I don’t get all the hipster wannabes who bag it out, it’s simply another way of people interacting.

    • Philosopher says:

      02:25pm | 16/01/13

      two clicks of a mouse and I can make you believe Miranda Kerr’s prettier, sexier, younger sister has read your profile and fallen in love with you.

    • Fiddler says:

      03:14pm | 16/01/13

      I have “met up” with more than one of them. It takes about three seconds to work out if a profile is fake or not

    • Raquel says:

      01:04pm | 16/01/13

      Bring it, I say.  Would make a nice change to be randomly propositioned by someone with at least a couple of degrees of separation as opposed to the friend requests from “tall and handsome army SEALs based in Tripoli who think I sound nice from my profile and would like to know me better” (given that my profile’s locked down tighter than the proverbial fish’s nether regions, it does make me wonder how they know I’m nice at all…).

      Sadly, I doubt my very own version of Hugh Jackman will reach out to connect with me - but I imagine a lot of social-media-mad young ‘uns will think this is almost as good as, like, omg, the Get Kony campaign; and marketers somewhere will make a motza from it (it’s an interesting side-topic that most people working in a ‘social media’ capacity have a PR, marketing or advertising background).

      Anyway, didn’t I see somewhere that FB started out as a mechanism for adolescent boys to rate adolescent girls as ‘hot or not’?  Sounds like the basis for a dating site to me wink

    • Freddy says:

      01:04pm | 16/01/13

      Double Yawnbow.

    • Benevolent Rapscallion says:

      02:04pm | 16/01/13

      I’ve had a 14 day ban imposed by Facebook because apparently it is against FB rules to send friend requests to people I don’t know. So this matchmaking business is going to be problematic.

    • Kika says:

      02:39pm | 16/01/13

      No, sorry. I love rainbow road. It’s fun. Feels like you are on a rollercoaster.

    • Sam Clench

      Sam Clench says:

      04:22pm | 16/01/13

      It’s all fun and games until someone hits you with a shell and you go tumbling into the abyss.

    • TimB says:

      05:46pm | 16/01/13

      Depends on the version.

      Wii Rainbow Road is awesome. N64 Rainbow Road is boring.

      The rest are somewhere in between, with varying degrees of evil.

    • Roxanned says:

      03:14pm | 16/01/13

      I don’t get random requests. Mind you, if you saw my profile pic you would understand.  It is not me, it is something I found on Google and yikes! it’s creepy!!  Mind you, on my old Yahoo email account I get a lot of requests from people wanting to connect to my messenger.  All apparently are fit, virile, good looking guys.  OK, then why are they wanting to connect to me?  (Same profile pic).  Mind you, is good for a chuckle.

    • John says:

      04:26pm | 16/01/13

      Just be aware they record all your searches against your account and there’s no way to delete that data (it’s not stored in the cookie on your computer, it’s stored at their end). If you type a letter into the search box on Facebook, you’ll get a drop-down list of every search you’ve made staring with that letter and there’s no way for you to get rid of that or opt out of it. Deleting your searches on Timeline only removes it from Timeline, they’ll still be there in the drop-down on the search box.

    • Gordon says:

      05:33pm | 16/01/13

      “Finally”?

 

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