Last month in this space, we discussed what was new with Twitter. This month, let’s take a look at Facebook. They have also made some minor tweaks over the past several weeks to improve the user experience. Some of these changes have taken place already; some will be coming soon.
Subscribe to updates
As with Twitter, Facebook now allows your friends to subscribe to your updates and follow your messages in their News Feed. With the subscribe button, you can choose what you see from your friends in the News Feeds. You can choose from “all updates,” “most updates,” and “important updates.” You can also choose to ignore any messages about the Facebook games your friends are playing. Or you can choose to ignore all messages from someone. Another big change is that you can begin to follow other people who are not your friends (like you do in Twitter) and vice versa. However, if you set your message settings to private, these new followers will be unable to see you feed. So your privacy still remains intact.
Improved Friends List
Facebook is also making it a little easier to see more from the people you care about and simpler to share with exactly the right people using the improved Friend Lists. According to the official Facebook Blog, there are three new improvements:
- Smart lists: “You’ll see smart lists that create themselves and stay up-to-date based on profile info your friends have in common with you–like your work, school, family and city.”
- Close Friends and Acquaintances lists: ”You can see your best friends’ photos and posts in one place, and see less from people you’re not as close to.”
- Better suggestions: ”You can add the right friends to your lists without a lot of effort.”
View Facebook shares
There is now a new “View Shares” link beneath news feed stories by friends, Pages, and those they subscribe to. If you click on this message, you’ll see a window displaying who has reposted that story and any additional context they added. Yes, it’s similar to the retweet button on Twitter (noticing a trend?). The “View Share” button will now tell you how often your status updates were reposted.
Removing your tags or content
Finally, your options for removing tags or content on Facebook are now displayed more clearly. Remember tagging is when anyone adds you to a photo or mentions you in an article or a post. It was a bit clumsy to remove these tags in the past. Now it’s so much easier. When you’re tagged, you’ll get a message from Facebook asking what you’d like to do. Your options are to remove the tag from your profile, removing the tag itself, message the photo owner or tagger, and request the content get taken down.
So what do you think of the new changes? Feel free to email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Casciato is a full-time freelance writer. In addition to writing for the Western PA Hospital News, he’s also a social media coach. For more information, visit www.danielcasciato.com, follow him on Twitter @danielcasciato, or friend him on Facebook (facebook.com/danielcasciato).