Facebook has come under some scrutiny and criticism this week for appearing to copy Google+ on it’s new Friends set up. It’s also targeted Twitter in allowing users to now “follow feeds”. Essentially, they are increasing and improving their “friend list” options and ability to manage their wall/news feeds. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, has argued that it needs updating simply because less than 5% of Facebook users actually use the current friends list system. This newly improved method is designed to make the feature easier to understand and use. After all, if it’s not intuitive, few people would feel inclined to take the time to learn it.
Facebook will now be offering new friend list options and management. And this is where the comparisons with G+ have come to light. Facebook now offer the option to list your friends immediately upon accepting the friend request. In this list option is “Acquaintances” which is exactly the same as Google offer, even down to the ability to do as soon as you “follow” a new user. It is also offering you the ability to share stories, photos etc with just one selected group of “friends” rather than being published publicly for all your followers to see. Their blog reads:
Want to see posts from your closest friends? Or perhaps you’d like to share a personal story with your family – without also telling all your co-workers. With improved Friend Lists, you can easily see updates from and share with different lists of friends.”
This is great if you have news you wish to share with particular people but it’s an extra, maybe even complicated step, in order to carry this out. The average user may not feel either inclined to learn how to do it, or jump through extra hoops or, may not even be tech savvy enough to understand how and why this is a benefit. Too many changes and extra steps doesn’t always make changes for the best. People like simple options. If some things that important or private, why go through the hassle of selecting who can see it and who can’t before posting when you can just send it in a selective private message? Who knows, maybe the genius team behind Facebook have made it so simple and brilliant that this wont be an issue?
Twitter Under Attack
The Twitter influence is in the fact that when they roll out their new features in the coming days/weeks, Facebook users will now be able to “follow a feed”. Facebook will now let users subscribe to the feed of anyone even if they are not your ‘friends’ within the social network. This is just like Twitter in the fact that you can opt in to follow news by one specific person just like in Twitter. Unlike Twitter though, Facebook will allow that user being followed to have control as to who can and can not subscribe to their feed without having a private profile. Who knows, maybe having Twitter like subscribing options in Facebook will make Twitter surplus to requirement seeing as Facebook will then offer everything in one nice convenient place? Twitter is completely based on Facebooks “update status” idea so maybe it’s fair cop to be influenced by them now and add Twitter like features? There is no harm in learning from the best in their fields and that’s what has happened here both ways.
The good news is Facebook will be allowing an option to convert the people on fan pages into “subscribers” to make everything as lucid and flowing as possible.
This particular feature is a great way to de-clutter your Facebook lists and finally allow people you may not know to still “follow” you but not be an actual “friend” with unlimited access to everything you post on your wall. Tammy, CEO of MarketMeSuite is excited about this new Facebook feature release! for that very reason, and why wouldn’t you be?! It’s finally an easier way to manage not only your profile, but private features in one go.
Key Take Away
Maybe learning from the other two social networks and adding variations of their features to the biggest most popular network available, will only make it better? There’s only one way to find out and I am sure blogging websites will go crazy with reviews and feelings about it. We here at MarketMeSuite always look forward to playing with new features so we are all looking forward to see what lays in store. Surely nothing can go wrong when you take the best features from other platforms and add then to the biggest giant out there…?