Facebook Hopes New Facelifts Will Slow Down Google+

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Since the launch and meteoric rise of Google+, Facebook has been fiddling with its user interface trying to make it simpler so users don’t jump ship. Today they’ve announced a bunch of small refinements aimed at enhancing the Facebook experience and upholding its privacy.

The Face lifts were announced on Facebook’s official blog and mainly improve individual profiles and photo sharing. According to the blog the changes are meant to empower the user by giving them the discretion to choose who to share what information with:

“Your profile should feel like your home on the web – you should never feel like stuff appears there that you don’t want, and you should never wonder who sees what’s there.”

The first change deals with who can view what information you post. Although Facebook has had a setting that qualifies who can view your profile, it’s always been behind the scenes, grounded in its intricate settings menu.

Now, the relatively mature social network is taking a page from Google+’s book, streamlining the process to make information sharing more relevant to the people you want to share certain info with. They’ve achieved this by introducing an inline menu that will appear “from your hometown to your last photo album,” allowing users to choose who gets to view their info.

The same profile flexibility will be exercised when you’re tagged in a photo. Remember that photo where your friends look great and you’re busy trying not to sneeze? Well, now when your friend goes to tag you in it you’ll have to approve it, sparing you the ‘LOL’ and ‘ROFL’ comments from notified friends.

The photo uploading system used by Facebook has also been refined. Before, anyone who could view your pics had the option to tag someone in them. Now though, for the tag to be applied you’ll have to approve it first.

 

For Facebookers who want to check out what their profile looks like to other network surfers, a button will be placed at the top of your profile for easy access. Again, this was always present in Facebook, but buried behind the scenes.

Sharing information has experienced some tweaks, with status postings featuring an inline control, so that each status can have its own audience of viewers instead of the old-school ‘Public’ system.

The old system’s ‘in concrete’ ways has been ditched, with users now being able to change who can view posts after they’ve been published.

Improved tagging and ‘check-in’ functionalities have also been incorporated. Previously, checking in could only been done while at the actual location from limited devices. Added improvements though will enable people to check in from any device, nominating locations you want to visit or have already visited.

Tagging used to suffer from an ‘awkward’ symptom, only letting you tag people you were friends with. So when the time came to tag your co-workers in a pic, people that you hadn’t virtually friended would be left untagged in photos.

The improvements here will let you tag them without befriending them. Of course, to fit in with Facebook’s other improvements, they’ll have to approve the tag.

Read: Google+ Beating Facebook At Its Own Game

On top of these small refinements are little name changes and the addition of icons to help make navigating the social forum easier. Since Google’s social network is still in testing and at a maxed capacity, it’s still too soon to tell if the refinements will be enough to hedge user loses.

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