Facebook has introduced numerous new features to their social networking service, all with the intent to streamline the user’s experience. There’s been a renewed emphasis to give users more control over their content, with more options to customize the influx of information to and from Friends. Critics of Facebook’s latest innovations cite conspicuous similarities between the site’s new features and the features offered on its
competitor sites, but whether there is any truth to these rumors is beside the point. Either way Facebook is taking action in improving their service, and the 700 million+ users should take notice. Here are some ways Facebook has improved its social network.
Edit content going to and coming from your Friends
Facebook’s new “smart lists” automatically categorize your Friends based on your preferences and frequency of contact with each individual. The categories can be of any type, from close friends to family members to minor acquaintances and everything in between. You can, of course, change around the people who fit into the smart list to accommodate your preferences—simply to go the part of your profile page on the left labeled “smart list” and make the necessary changes. You’ll notice that you can share information with Friends on a list without having to share with anyone else. So now your coworkers don’t have to see questionable picture of you from last weekend; you can restrict access to who sees what.
Subscribe to Friends
Facebook also offers a new subscribe option, something completely different from what they’ve offered before in terms of connecting with individuals. Before, you could only “friend” a person to see the majority of their profile information; it’s often considered a social misstep to friend someone who you don’t know well. Now you can opt to simply subscribe to someone’s profile to be privy to their updates. You can even alter the subscription settings to mitigate the sort of updates you receive from your various subscriptions. You’ll find the subscribe button next to the normal “Friend Request” button next to profiles.
Tailor your newsfeed
The two previous updates allow the user more control over their newsfeed than ever before. No longer will a user have to endure a deluge of updates from “friends” who constantly change their status or post pictures. Granted before you could remove people from your newsfeed without unfriending them, but this process was too time consuming. Now you can change your newsfeed to only include updates from the select few you want to hear from on a daily basis, whether it’s from your new subscriptions or people included on your most exclusive list of friends.
Perhaps the most important recent change Facebook has made involves their updated Privacy Controls. You can now control the privacy settings of every single update you make to your profile by clicking a box next to the “Post” box. This privacy box determines who sees your posts; you can set it so that everyone (on Facebook) can see it, or restrict it to certain Friends. You can also retroactively change the privacy settings on any post, so that picture that didn’t need to be made public can be changed so that only close friends see it. To change the privacy settings on a previous post you just follow the same procedure as when you alter the privacy settings of a new post. Take advantage of Facebook’s new security settings and secure your information to only those who need to see your profile.
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