It’s Raining Updates in Facebookland: Sharing, Privacy and More

Change is good. It helps keep things fresh and keeps boredom away. But too much of anything is good for nothing and that holds good for changes too. So, the folks at Facebook have been quietly busy and rolled out few notable updates to the World’s largest social network. At times I think if there is a wager between Google and Facebook to see who rolls out more updates in a calender year!

I don’t use a lot of features of Facebook, just like thousands of others. But from changing the way the feed looks like to sharing and privacy, everyone will feel the changes for sure this time. Predictably, there are loud voices complaining about yet another change, but at the end of the day, these new additons make Facebook more fun to use.

Sharing

New Sharing Interface

New Sharing Interface

The other day I was reading about an app that lets you share who you are with right now. Well, now Facebook has that feature too. You can tag which of your friends are with you and where exactly you are while updating your status. You can also filter down who gets to see this update too, which in my opinion is a huge step forward.

Editor’s Note: Predictably, we’re already seeing people list non-real places just for fun. One of my friends last night wrote about the new changes and said that he was in “confusion” rather than a real place. Always fun to see how people use features in non-conventional ways!

Subscriptions

Subscribe Button

Subscribe Button

Not interested in being friends with someone, but really want to keep track of their social activity? The subscribe button is here for your rescue. Now you can hear from interesting people you’re not friends with. Hmm, doesn’t this sound a lot like a certain social network that limits the number of characters one can post?

Feed

Top Story Suggestion

Top Story Suggestion

Changes to the feed are by far the biggest and I’m sure it ticked off a whole bunch of people. The new design of the feed tries to help you manage the madness of the barrage of status updates from your friends. The new design kinda has the feel of the Gmail priority inbox and it even suggests you about updates that might be of interest. In my case, the suggestions were not up to the mark! The biggest change might easily be the Live Updates on the top right, which let you see exactly what’s going on in your network right now. It’s interesting, but definitely makes you feel that Facebook is suddenly that much less private.

Of course, the funny thing right now is seeing the live updates … of everyone complaining about live updates!

New Stories Count

New Stories Count

And finally, we are informed of the number of new updates since our last visit. About time! Check out this cool video showcasing all the new additions in detail.

One Update Too Many?

People always find things to complain about. First they complained about how careless and unconcerned Facebook is with their privacy. When Facebook began iterating and started to implement changes to fix things, they now complain about taking away their familiar user interface. As of this moment, I couldn’t think of any other web juggernaut that brings in updates – tiny or huge – at such a breakneck speed. How many updates have we seen from Twitter in the past year? Even without comparing them with Facebook, their track record is nothing to be proud of.

It’s a good thing that Facebook is working like a nimble startup – releasing early and releasing fast. And all this work is done without having the pressure of a competitor breathing down their neck. Imagine how awesome things would be if either Myspace or Google+ were neck to neck with Facebook in userbase and page views?

But as I mentioned earlier, updates do come at a breakneck speed. The official Facebook blog is like a warzone with so many posts every month about the new updates.

Given the size of Facebook, it’s understandable that rolling out one after another is a great way to take the load off their infrastructre. But everyone is annoyed when they see something amiss or out of place ever so often. A regular, time bound release cycle, much like web browsers would help people cope with the changes without any fuss. Besides, a spaced out, predicatble update schedule will definitely make people take interest at what Facebook is doing and what they will be doing next. Now, nobody is caring at all … except to complain!