Facebook changes…yet again!

Over the last few months, Facebook has introduced subtle changes to the way users experience and interact on the social network.

Here’s a rundown of the most recent changes that they have rolled out in the last 3 months.

Fan Pages

“Invite Friends” option

Prior to the change, page admins could only suggest pages to their friends. The new option allows Page admins to invite their friends to like their pages by creating a notification and sending a Facebook email.
As it stands, only page admins can invite their friends to their fan pages.

Custom URLs

In the past, admins had the option of choosing a customised URL for their pages as long as there are more than 25 fans. Now, Facebook is allowing admins to choose their customised URL as soon as they have created the page.
Custom URLs cannot be changed once they have been assigned so choose wisely! To change your URL simply go to Facebook.com/Username.

“Send an Update” Now disabled

Since introducing the new “Messages”, Facebook has realised that updates from Page admins end up in the Others folder. They have now disabled the “Send an Update” functionality on Fan pages. Admins are no longer able to send mass messages to their fans. Instead, Facebook recommends that admins post on the Page walls so that fans can see the updates on their new feed.

Profiles

Inline Profile Controls

The ability to choose how much information other users can see on your profile has been around for a while. However, with the recent update, the content on your profile now appears next to an icon and a drop-down menu that allows users to restrict who sees what.

Profile and Content Tag Review

Users can now approve or reject tags in photos before they appear on your profile.  Also, users can now approve or reject any tag someone wants to add to your posts.
Good news: You should now be able to stop anyone from tagging you in compromising photos before your mum sees them.

View Profile As….

This tool allows you to see what your profile looks like to others. This tool has been around for quite a while but it was buried among the numerous privacy control tools. Now, this tool is right on top of your profile, thus making it easier to access.

Improved Friends Lists

Lists have existed for several years but the function never really took off. Now, Facebook has introduced 3 major improvements. (Lists are completely optional!)

  • Smart Lists – Smart lists create themselves based on the information your friends have in common with you, as made available on their profile.
  • Close Friends and Acquaintances Lists – Simply put, you less posts and photos from people you are not close to
  • Better Suggestions – Allows you to add the right friends to existing lists minus a lot of effort

Sharing Content

More Inline Controls

You can now control who sees each post, as the settings are right beside the “post” button. The dropdown menu will expand over time to include any lists you have created or groups that you have joined. (Those of you who use Google+ will be familiar with this functionality.)
The major advantage with this update is the ability to tailor exactly who your audience is. (Hopefully this will decrease the number of people who are friend with their bosses, who then get fired for ranting on Facebook about work.)

Change who sees a Post

If you do end up posting something aimed at the wrong audience, fear not. You can retrospectively change the controls at any time.

Tag Non-Friends or Pages you haven’t liked

If you are tagged by a non-friend (e.g. a co-worker you’d rather not be Facebook friends with…), it won’t appear on your profile unless you have approved the post.

Add a Location to your Post

You can now add a location to every post without having to “Check-In”, regardless of what device you are using.
As a result, Facebook is phasing out the Places feature on mobiles.

The Subscribe Button

This is basically something akin to Twitter’s “Follow” feature. You can now get updates from people without having to add them as friends.
As a result, you can now also get your own subscribers and share your updates with more than just your friends. (This is pretty much how Google+ works, in that you can have your posts visible to just a specific “Circle” or to the general public.)
To find out more just go to the Subscriptions Page.

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About Maebellyne Ventura

Maebellyne Ventura is a digital marketing professional writing about social media practices. She is also a founder of the online start-up Clever Biscuit. Follow her on Twitter @Maebellyne
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