The All New Facebook – That’s Indeed A Lot of Changes!
It seems that Facebook has been forced to turn off cruise control and start to roll out updates to users. These new features have to be in response to Google+ and it’s something to be expected. What is also becoming the norm is the apparent outrage by Facebook users about these changes. If you’re a Facebook user, then you know what we mean. Now’s the time when your friends will start saying “I don’t like the new Facebook!” over and over, and they can rejoin the “Change Facebook back to the way it was” groups that were created years ago. You know it’s true!
Let’s get down to the details of what’s new with Facebook. We feel that they’ve released some top notch features that will quiet down the complainers once they realize it’s better than what they were using before, or they just forget what they are complaining about in a few days because they are too busy using Facebook.
First off, Facebook has released a new Subscribe feature that allows users to subscribe to others in a similar fashion as Twitter and Google+ in that you don’t actually have to be friends with that person to subscribe to them.
Now before you get all excited and anxious about the privacy concerns, Facebook is on top of it. First, you have to choose if you want to allow people to subscribe to you at all. So, if you do nothing then nothing changes. Second, if you allow people to subscribe to you, you can control what content they see – down to an individual basis. This also means you can choose only photos, comments, likes etc. to be seen. You can also divide people up into groups much like Google+’s Circles feature.
These new groups are called Smart Lists – another new addition. These groups can divide your friends into several categories like friends you attended school with, friends you work with, and friends that live nearby.
In combination with another feature called Friends list (which is essentially the G+ Circles feature) letting you divide your friends into Restricted, Acquaintances, and Close Friends, you now have complete control of the content you see and send on Facebook. See, they’ve seriously taken a page from Google’s playbook and are picking out some of the very best things about G+
Your Close Friends will pop up more often and show more content, and your Acquaintances might not show up at all. Add in the Smart List criteria to that and things get pretty specific.
The same goes for the Subscribe button. Not only do users get to choose what subscribers see, the subscriber can choose what kind of information they want to see as well.
The next big feature for Facebook is going to be the Timeline. The Timeline is essentially a visual history and highlight of a person’s past. If you or someone you know (just admit it’s you) is one of those people that posts every moment of their life on Facebook, then you can use Timeline to help map your life for you and your friends. It will even let you browse by year or dates, letting people with the proper permission to see how you’ve progressed through life via pictures, video and more.
Next, Facebook is working on media integration into their new ticker feature. The ticker is essentially a live feed that gives you updates on real-time information as it’s happening. It is less detailed than the normal feed, but updates constantly. The media integration into the ticker will show you when a user is listening, watching, reading or eating something right now. It will then connect you to that event in a unique way like allowing you to listen to the same thing or perhaps even watch the same thing on Netflix. This is a pretty neat idea, but it’s all starting to get a slightly obsessed feeling.
This is where we want to take a minute, stand up on our soapbox and loudly say…
This is essentially an online recording of the life of your children, wife, friends, yourself and everyone else that participates in Facebook or any of these online social sites! It will be (a sometimes) messy recording of achievements as well as disappointments.
Not only will potential bosses, colleges, girlfriends and in-laws be reviewing it – but future generations as well. When you remove a post, picture, video or anything else from Facebook, it’s only put where you can’t see it. Facebook keeps a copy. In how many generations do you think it will be legal to release this information?
Remember that the Twitter archives went into the Library of Congress! Your children’s children will be learning about their family through the digital records that we are recording right now! Stress this to colleges, your kids and your friends. By all means have fun on Facebook – just do it with your eyes wide open