Facebook Updates: Summer 2011

I have to confess, it’s kind of my job to keep up on the latest social media advances, but Facebook is boggling even my mind these days.

There have been so many changes and upgrades to Facebook over the last month, that it’s hard to keep up with them all. My feeling is, Zuckerberg and the other good folks over at FB are feeling the pressure of Google +, the newest social network on the block. In case you haven’t heard this staggering statistic, it took G+ a mere 16 days to reach 10 Million users. Just to put that into perspective, it took Twitter 780 days to reach that same goal, and Facebook, 852 days.

So, since G+ rolled out, Facebook has been looking smart. Here’s a rundown of some of FB’s latest features. For the record, these changes take time to roll out, so you may or may not be seeing them already.

1. Video chat: Exactly one week after G+ rolled out (including its multiple-video chat interface called Hangouts), FB introduced Video Chat. I still don’t have this feature, so I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but you can read about it here.

2. Better updates for multiple Page admins: If you are the admin for a page, or you belong to a group, you’ll notice in your left-hand menu, below  your basic tabs, is now a list of all the pages you administrate. Previously, these alerts were all lumped together in one “Pages” alert. You could have had people responding to any of the pages you administrate, but you wouldn’t know which one. Now, FB has broken down a list of all of the pages you administrate, with alerts for each.

3. Easier security settings: unless you are a “real” friend of mine, meaning someone I know in real life, you have limited access to my Facebook profile. Because of my blog and teaching, I often get friend requests from people that I don’t know well, and I’d rather not let them have complete access to my photos, etc. So, I put those people on a limited profile. You do this by going into Profile–>Privacy Settings. FB now allows you to edit these security settings on the fly (again, this bears more than a passing resemblance to G+, who allows you to share with your circles, or not share with certain circles, if you so desire). So, for example, if you don’t want your gramma to see the photos of your wild party Friday night, you can edit her out quickly.

4. Tag approval: Speaking of that wild party you were at Friday night… you may not want people to know that was you dancing with the lampshade on your head on the table. In the past, if someone tagged you in a photo, you would receive a notification, and you could remove the tag if you wished. Now, however, you’ll be able to veto those tags even before the tag is published. Read more about these updates here.

5. Easier Geotagging: If you are out somewhere with one of your friends, you previously needed to use FB places (as part of your FB smartphone app) to “check in” and you could check your friends in  as well. This feature has now been incorporated into status updates for easier geotagging and friend tagging.

6. Auto-Posting from your WordPress-hosted blog to your Facebook page: this has not previously been an option: you could only post to your personal FB profile, not to pages you administrated. Now you can. Go to Dashboard–>Settings–>Sharing. Whether or not you should auto-post to your Facebook page is another question.

7. Ticker: I just got this feature yesterday, but before I could even take a screenshot of it, it disappeared! The ticker will appear in your right-hand menu, and is a short-hand, abbreviated version of your Facebook feed. You’ll be able to click on the individual updates for more details.

Okay! Now you’re up-to-date! Hopefully your head is a little less spinny the next time you log into Facebook!

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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