Easier sharing: Facebook strikes at Google+ again

Ronny Kerr · August 23, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1e31

Review photos before you get tagged in them, share publicly or not... users have the power

“Making It Easier to Share With Who You Want.” Nope, that’s not a description of Google+ Circles. Quite the contrary.

That’s the title of the latest blog post from Facebook, which on Tuesday announced a bevy of new updates to the site that make it easier for users to share content exactly with whom they want. In short, it’s a huge strike against Google+, whose advantage heretofore had been crystal clear sharing tools.

Probably the single most dramatic change Facebook announced is that users can now require that they approve photo tags of themselves before those photos end up on their profile (see above). Previously, anyone could tag you in any photo--even if it captured your “finest” moment at that frat party last weekend--and it would automatically show up alongside all the other photos of you. Now, those embarrassing moments can be avoided.

Similarly, users now have the option to review tags that others try to add to their own content before those tags go live.

Another major change is the introduction of inline profile controls, allowing users to see exactly who can see anything on their profile, from photos to phone numbers to status updates (see above) and beyond. All those little bits of info will now come with a little drop-down menu on the side, so you can change those settings easily at any time.

Taking a page straight out of Google+, Facebook also now lets users see their profile just as another user would see it. Though this was always an option deep in the settings, but it will now be visible right from the profile page.

There’s more too: wording for sharing with “Everyone” has been changed to “Public” (as it is on Google+), content can be adjusted to be shared with certain groups after already posted, and people and location can be tagged in posts more easily.

Writes Facebook VP Chris Cox of the coming changes:

You have told us that "who can see this?" could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward. The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends') in any context.

Read all at once here, the deluge of changes coming to Facebook may seem overwhelming. But, once they’re rolled out on the site, they will likely feel seamless and natural... and they could go a long way to inhibiting the growth of Google+.

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