Facebook mashes Google+, Twitter into new design - meanwhile Google+ now opens its doors to the public
WEDNESDAY was a BIG day in the history of social networks...One, Google+ opened all its doors to the public after being under the wraps for the last few months. Two, World's largest social networking site, Facebook unveiled some major revamps and redesign to its platform.
Facebook’s revamped news feeds that highlighted more “important” stories got — like many of Facebook’s prior revamps — a cold reception from users. Some readers even suggested ways to revert back to the old Facebook design, such as setting the account language to English (U.K.).
Meanwhile Google+, which rolled out tons of new and improved features when it went public yesterday, got a rousing vote of approval for the first time. “If you hate Facebook's new update, try out Google+!,” technology blogger Ashley Esqueda wrote on Twitter.
Facebook has its users scrambling...
In an increasingly competitive world of social sharing, Facebook has added elements of its two main rivals: Twitter and Google+ to keep more people on their site. It means it’s now deciding what are the most important stories for you to see, it’s added a real-time update box (a la Twitter), and it’s increased its posting length (a la Google +). It also is letting people subscribe to other news feeds without actually friending them (a la both Google and Twitter). So here’s a low-down on each of the new features:
The Ticker - The ticker, in the upper right-hand corner, shows a continual list of what your friends are doing on the site. The changes to the News Feed are meant to bring your attention to the most important stories and leave out the less important posts such as “So-and-so and so-and-so are now friends.”
However, it also picks up all sorts of actions the old News Feed did not have — you can see when your friends comment on other status updates, when they post photos, basically every little action. This means: a lot of movement in that ticker. Rather than cutting down on the clutter in the News Feed, it makes the page much more chaotic. What to do with it? Get used to ignoring it. Or start using Google Chrome and install this extension that wipes the ticker off your page. (Thanks to All Facebook for the tip.)
The News-feed important stories- The point of this one is that Facebook wants to know more about what you want. It’s forcing you to decide what’s important in your News Feed and what’s not. If you don’t make that decision, Facebook will do it for you.
Now, they want you to determine what stories you see as most important. If you float your cursor over a friend's status update, a small downward pointing arrow appears in the right-hand corner and a blue tag appears in the left-hand corner. The blue tag will mark it as important, or you can select the arrow, which will give you an option of “mark as top story,” or “hide story.” The more stories you hide or mark as important, the more exact the Facebook filter will get in determining the types of stories you want to see. If you don’t want the choice, Facebook’s algorithm will choose for you.
The Subscribe situation - That float-down menu also has another option: it shows that you are subscribed to “most stories,” from a friend. That’s the default setting. Facebook introduced last week a subscribe option, letting you have a murky in-between friend and stranger option. You can subscribe to people’s feeds, but they don’t have to approve you as a friend for you to be able to see their updates. All the people you are currently friends with automatically are subscribed to you and vice versa.
Google+ Public Launch Gets the 'Doodle' Treatment
The "Google doodle" yesterday was actually a huge blue arrow pointing users to the company's Google+ social network, which Google opened to the public Wednesday after a three-month field trial.
"You're invited to join Google+," a pop-up message read when you hovered over the arrow. Opening Google+ to the public is actually the 100th change the search giant has made to its social network in the last 90 days.
Social network users brought out all sorts of comparisons on Wednesday to make sense of the new changes on Facebook and Google+--
Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, compared the new Facebook to the Windows operating system, because in its new design Facebook is “always asking you to update stuff, verify stuff... behaves in strange ways. Super annoying,” he wrote on Twitter. Sixty people retweeted Hounshell’s comment.
“Update: it's improving. A lot. Things are happening. NOW,” Perlkvist wrote on Google+ Wednesday.
Could this be a turning point in the battle for dominance between Facebook and Google?
And we have some hilarious tweets too...!!
••• "Facebook done went and blow up people's ugly pics on my newsfeed." -- @OrinPhillips
••• "Zuckerberg apparently hired the genius behind New Coke to run Facebook." -- @MarkArum
••• "I just got an email from Facebook telling me they'll be sending me fewer emails. Because that makes sense." -- @hbobier
••• "Facebook is starting to feel like that deadbeat boyfriend you just don't know how to break up with." -- @ScrewyDecimal
••• "I wasn't minding the Facebook changes. Then it suggested I might want to be a fan of Ann Curry. And the rage began." -- @LogicalLibby
••• "Facebook continues to reinvent itself, by making itself less usable yet somehow exactly the same." -- @modeps
••• "Complaining about Facebook format changes is the ultimate 1st world problem." -- @Jenn1ferJun1per
••• "Why doesn't Facebook have a Dislike button?!” — Every jackass you know -- @hugsformonsters
••• "im a bit behind but what's wrong with facebook today?" -- @integratedmalay
••• "Facebook is banned in Pakistan. Can we do that in India too? Please." -- @desijourno