Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Facebook is a Square Over Circles; Hello Lists!

Is this the start of ease of “segmented” information for users of Facebook?  Changes are brewing with some new features just announced in regards to lists. It certainly does seem like a follow the leader approach in regards to this revamp, and surprise, the “leader” is Google+, which boasts a fraction of the users that Facebook has. Could this be the start of a social network arena shakeup?

Sounds like Facebook may be feeling a bit threatened. Do you think they’re trolling the internet, getting a read on what folks like and don’t like about Google+? If you thought “yes”, then you’re probably right. That’s my gut feeling too.

So what has Facebook done? Simply put, they’ve made the struggle with lists less intense. After hearing complaints and allowing us to be subjected to the frustrations of everyone we know for so long, it’s about time.  The changes come not that long after they made some tweaks to making privacy settings more obvious to the not-so-savvy Facebook user.

Here’s the low down on what’s been done with new, improved lists:

Facebook has made it easier to add people to lists. Now I haven’t seen this feature in action yet, but I suspect that it’s as easy as dragging someone into a circle when adding in Google+.

Lists that are automatically created for location, work, family, and school. Dubbed “Smart Lists” by Facebook.

The ability to segment your friends based on how well you know them. Interestingly enough, this is how I’ve approached my Google+ circle methodology. But that’s another story. The important thing here is that you’ll be able to list and see all posts, including photos within Close Friends and Acquantances lists.

Facebook has made this new feature optional, similar to what they’ve done with the recently announced “reduced email”. Wow! Now we have choices too!

If you don't have them yet, you soon will; the changes are rolling out this week. All I can say is …thank you Google+. Without you, this update never would have happened. However, it’s a shame that the consumer’s voice isn’t heard until a potential threat comes along.   

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