Facebook has taken another page out of Google's book, as it has announced new sharing features to make it easier to share things with the people you want to share them with. I say "another page," because they're also upping the amount of planned acquisitions.
The concept behind these new features may immediately make Google+ users think about the circles sharing strategy.
"You have told us that 'who can see this?' could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward," Facebook's Chris Cox says in a blog post. "The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends') in any context."
On the user's profile page, content will appear next to an icon and drop-down menu, which lets you know who can see that particular item (public, friends or custom). Users will also be able to approve or reject any photos/posts that they're tagged in before they're visible to others on your profile.
Now that's an improvement. Caught making a fool of yourself at a party? The evidence no longer has to show up on your wall when your friends inevitably post it.
They've also added a "View Profile as…" button.
When you're sharing you will be able to control who sees each post. "The control for who can see each post will be right inline. For each audience, there is now an icon and label to help make it easier to understand and decide who you're sharing with. Also, when you tag someone, the audience label will automatically update to show that the person tagged and their friends can see the post," says Cox.
The menu will expand over time to include smaller groups of people for lists you've created (almost exactly like Google's Circles).
It's worth noting that they've changed the word "everyone" to "public" to make it clearer that you're putting info out in the public eye if you chose that option. You will also be able to change who can see a post after you've posted it.
Users will be able to add tags of their friends or anyone else on Facebook. They don't have to be your friend, but they will have to approve it before it's shown on their profile.
Users don't have to use the Places feature on their smartphone to add location info to content with the new set up. You can add location to anything via the Places icon as seen here:
They're actually phasing out the mobile-only Places feature as a result of this change.
Finally, they're giving more tag removal options. Users can remove a tag, ask the photo owner or tagger to take a photo down or block the person altogether.
The changes will go live on August 25 (Thursday), when users will be prompted to take a tour of the new features from the home page.