After Google+ was launched, I wrote a long post in which I detailed the features of the new service and discussed the real barriers between Google and success. The biggest one, I noted, was that Facebook had a user-base of 750 million, and could easily play copycat to anything Google+ did that users praised. It seems that Facebook followed exactly that predicted trajectory, having already implemented video chat through a partnership with Skype and now offering improved privacy and sharing controls that look shockingly Google-like.
What are the features, exactly? First and foremost, Facebook is allowing users to see and manipulate the privacy settings on shared content directly in-line. This makes it easy to make a post public or share it only with your friends. Additionally, Facebook specifies that they’ll be expanding this feature to even more selective sharing in the future; the in-line controls will be integrated with Facebook “groups,” making the functionality of groups become a lot more similar to Google+ Circles.
Additionally, users will be able to approve tags before the content (image or otherwise) is displayed on their profile. This increased level of control allows any Facebook user to decline tags altogether or even request that the content be pulled from Facebook. Other more minor changes include an highly visible button on your profile that makes it easy to see your profile as it looks to the public eye, the option to tag those who aren’t yet your friends on Facebook, and adjust the privacy settings of a post even after that post has been published.
Make no mistake: Facebook is ripping off Google’s success, which is exactly what they should be doing. It’s for this very reason that competition is good for the economy and for users, and even Google’s VP of Google+ (Bradley Horowitz) commented that he was excited to see Facebook’s changes.
[Sources include: Tech Land]
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