When internet giant, Google, launched its own social networking website (Google Plus) a couple of months ago, most users complained that it was too similar to Facebook to be of any consequence. But a couple of days ago, Facebook pulled out its biggest ace. And surprisingly, the site that connects over 750 million users from across the world seems to have taken cues from micro-blogging site Twitter and Google Plus too. Now, you’ll find an instant ticker that tells you in real-time what your friends are up to. There are also improved privacy settings that allow you to customise who has access to your posts and who doesn’t.
This feature existed before but Facebook’s latest update comes in the form of smart friends lists. These lists are auto-generated depending on common information you and your friends might have on your profiles such as your work place, family or city. To make the job of filling up the list with relevant people less tedious, Facebook even suggests friends it thinks ought to be in the list.
Photo albums now display more aesthetically on your timeline. Clicking on a particular photo opens it in ‘theater mode’ where the photo takes focus and the background is more faded. There’s a separate ‘photos’ app that allows you to see only the recently uploaded photos by your friends and nothing else.
Taking inspiration from Twitter, this feature on the right side of the page shows you in real-time what your friends are up to. The information displayed includes who befriended whom, comments and wall posts between friends, likes and whether a friend updated their profile photo, and other information.
As the name suggests, this feature lets you subscribe to posts by people whom you may not be friends with. This feature even extends outside of the networking site — the next time you visit your favourite blog and see a ‘subscribe’ button on it, click on it to get updates directly on your Facebook news feed. If you wish, you can unsubscribe yourself from certain friends in your list if you aren’t interested in receiving their updates.
New features coming soon
Timeline is slated to be Facebook’s best and most distinguishing feature yet. To be made available in the coming weeks, this feature is visual-centric and displays your previous posts and photos as they occurred in real life. Timeline completely does away with Facebook’s relatively static profile page and instead focuses on large photos to do the storytelling. You can customise what apps you wish to include.