Facebook is rolling out with some major changes, forcing us to pace up and adopt many new features. Some of these changes were already implemented in the past few weeks, and there are plenty more to come. Whether it’s the pressure to keep up with new social network market players (did someone say +1?), or the urgent need to upgrade and innovate, these changes are in motion. The sure thing is: Facebook is giving users more choice. The not so sure thing is: do users want more choice?
Whatever the case may be, we’d like to put things in order and explain what exactly is going on, and what you can expect to see coming soon:
Simplified Privacy Settings
Not all information is for everyone to see, this is one of the horses Google + rode in on. Your mom probably doesn’t need to know certain “things” about your dating life, and your boss doesn’t need to view pics from your latest clubbing night. Now, every time you post a picture, update your status or add any other content to your Facebook page, you can more easily specify who sees it: friends, everyone on the Internet, or a customized group.
Similar settings now appear next to other items you post, such as photo albums, so you can decide on the spot just how far you want your photo to travel.
Improved Friend Lists & Subscribe Button
Yet another addition to your improved privacy settings. You now have the ability to order groups of friends the way you psychologically sort them in your head: close friends, collegues, poker night friends, etc. This means you can 1. Group your Facebook friends into lists, and 2. Decide what kind of information you want to receive from each friend.
Lists– Facebook now automatically creates a few lists based on your profile information. So if you went to Concordia College and this is stated on your profile, you now have a friends’ list titled “Concordia”; if you check in this group when you post something, only people who went to Concordia will see it. These are known as “Smart Lists”.
Your lists are accessible from the left side of your Facebook profile. Clicking “More” lets you see all your lists and do your own editing.
Subscribe– The new subscribe button enables you to decide whose news you want to read and at what frequency. If you don’t want to receive an update every time your little brother is playing Farmville, you can actually opt out from these updates by un-checking the Games option on the Subscribe button on his profile.
Have you Tried the New Ticker?
Ticker is the new feed in the top right-hand corner of your screen that gives you chronological, real-time updates about your friends’ posts. Your News Feed is still the place to fish for status updates, but it displays more important updates, like photos from vacation, birthday/ wedding updates etc. Other lightweight updates like who just befriended whom and who’s playing what game, will go on the Ticker.
Ticker also enables you to comment on these updates in real time and chat with your friends about them. So when you see a friend liking an article or posting a photo, you can chat with them right away.
The feature was released a few days ago and not a moment passed before quite a few reviews and negative feedback started coming from users, to the point where users started looking for info on how to remove the ticker box on Facebook. We can call it growing pains…
Most Anticipated Facebook Feature: Timeline is coming!
Still in beta but coming soon, Timeline is probably one of the hottest new features we’re going to see on Facebook. Timeline is a stream of information about you, beginning at birth, showing the photos you’ve posted, all your status updates, the apps books and movies you’ve recommended, and even the places you’ve visited on a world map. The point of this feature is also to encourage users to post more stuff about their past, using Facebook as a scrapbook. You’ll be able to edit and customize parts of your history, of course :)
You can sign up here and be notified as soon as this new feature is available.
And lastly, we’re getting more verbs
“Like” has been around for quite some time. It’s been around long enough (and became popular enough) to turn into a part of our growing online and off-line lexicon. Now, Facebook is giving us more verbs to express ourselves while practicing “click to let everyone know”.
Soon enough you’ll be able to click buttons like “Visit” “Listen,” “Watch,” or “Want”. How’s that for a greater vocabulary?