Four New Facebook Features You Don’t Want to Miss – Oct 2011
Facebook is determined not to be upstaged by Google+. They have released several new features you should be aware of to help you get even more out of this tool.
Feature #1 – One of the new features expected to be released this week is the New Timeline profile option. You can now configure your personal profile to display as a timeline. Checkout my new Facebook timeline (click the image to enlarge).
The Timeline is basically provides a visually appealing story board that details your history (your past accomplishments, activities and updates). Because I have a developers account with Facebook, I was able to setup my new Timeline before it was officially released. Once I set it up, I discovered that Facebook went all the way back to my birth (WOW). With the Timeline feature, you can browse by year or dates.
Feature #2 – Facebook has released a new Subscribe feature that will allow you to subscribe to the updates of other Facebook users. This feature is similar to how Twitter and Google+ is used today in that you can subscribe to someone’s updates others can subscribe to your updates without being friends with you. DON’T worry…Facebook has your privacy in mind and gives you control to determine if you want people to be able to subscribe to your updates. If do not take any action, people WILL NOT be able to subscribe to your updates. You can change your privacy settings to control what people can see if you do choose to let others subscribe to your updates.
Anyone who knows me has realized that I primarily use Facebook to share information about me personally as a professional or about my business. Because I do not post anything on my personal profile that I wouldn’t want a client or potential client to see, it could set my account to allow anyone to subscribe to me updates and I may even generate new leads and clients because of this feature.
Feature #3 – Smart Lists is a new addition that can be helpful in managing your friends. First let’s review Facebook’s basic list feature. Lists are an optional way to you organize your friends on Facebook so you can filter the stories you see in News Feed or post an update for specific people from one part of your life, like your coworkers or friends who live near you. Facebook provides the following lists to get all users started with segmenting their relationships:
Close Friends: To see more of your closest friends in your News Feed and get notified each time they post, add them to this list.
Acquaintances: If you have added friends to your profile and you don’t care to stay in close contact with them, you can add them to this list. People on your acquaintances list will rarely show up in your News Feed. You can also choose to exclude these people when you post something, by choosing Friends except Acquaintances in the audience selector.
Restricted: Let’s say you have accepted the friend request your boss sent but you really don’t want them to see your updates, except for the ones you choose to share with them, you can add them to this list. When you add someone to your Restricted list, they will only be able to see your Public content or posts of yours that you tag them in.
Note: Your friends won’t receive a notification that you have added or removed them from these lists.
So now back to the new Smart Lists feature…you can now divide your friends into several categories like friends you attended school with, friends you work with, and friends that live nearby. Smart lists are updated automatically based on info you have in common with select friends such as where you work, where you went to school or where you live. For example, if you live in New York City, Facebook will create a list of friends who live within 50 miles of New York. Facebook gives you control over the distance setting and you can choose to manually add people or remove them. This list updates automatically as your friends update their profiles (timelines). To extend our example, let’s say you have 30 friends who live within 50 miles of New York (according to their Facebook profile/timeline), they’ll be listed on your New York smart list. If 5 of your friends who live outside of this area change their profile (timeline) to indicate that they also live within 50 miles of New York, your smart list will automatically update to include them too. Isn’t that cool? I think so.
Feature #4 – Have you noticed the little ticker feature on Facebook that gives you updates on real-time information on your friends as it’s happening? Well, Facebook is now working on media integration that will show you when a user is listening, watching, reading or eating something right now. It will then connect you to that event and allow you to participate…like allowing you to listen to the same song, watch the same video.
So here is a word of caution…
What we put on Facebook, stays in Facebook, even if you remove it from your profile or page. Facebook keeps the data stored in their system so be careful what you post. There is no telling how they will use this information about us in the future. Not too long ago Twitter archives went into the Library of Congress! This data will be around for a very long time and we should use social networking to our advantage but we have to be wise about it.
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