Is Facebook’s Latest Update a Gamechanger?

Facebook makes changes to the way the network works on the daily. I do my best to stay up to speed, and I’m normally pretty polar in how I feel about an algorithm update here or an interface change there, but Facebook’s latest major announcement has me teetering.  Here’s what’s going on. . .

Facebook is introducing a ‘Subscribe” button. I think this is major. Here’s how it will work:

  1. You can subscribe to Public status updates from people you are not Facebook friends with.
  2. You can choose what kind of updates you see from your current Facebook friends. You can choose to subscribe to All Updates, Most Updates or Only Important Updates.
  3. You can allow people who aren’t your friends to subscribe to your Public Facebook status updates. Don’t worry, you have to opt in for this to be available to those who stumble across your Facebook profile.

Why this is great

Follow your Faves

You can subscribe to a celebrity or famous blogger’s Public status updates. They’ll likely never make Facebook friends with you, and now you don’t have to troll their profiles to see what they are publishing publicly.

Filtered Content

You can trim your newsfeed down to the status updates that really interest you. For example, if the girl who sat behind you in Sophomore Chemistry updates her Facebook every time her cat sneezes, you can choose to see ‘Only Important” updates from her without feeling badly about hiding or unfriending her (but if she really updates every time her cat sneezes, you really shouldn’t feel badly about unfriending her. Just sayin).  You can also subscribe to specific types of content your friends are posting. Choices are Life Events, Status Updates, Photos and Videos, and Games.

Market Yourself

For personal marketing purposes, you can extend the number of people who read your content by allowing non-friends to subscribe to your feeds. This way, if you would like anyone in the world to easily access to knowledge you share regarding specific topics, but don’t want to be friends with the whole world, you can allow other Facebook users to subscribe to your public content.

Why this really isn’t that great

Dilutes the Power of the Fan Page

I totally get that there is a difference between a celebrity’s personal profile page and their Facebook fan page, and that there will be different content, but:

  1. Being able to subscribe to their personal pages seems to dilute the purpose of the fan page.
  2. Seeing as most celebrities share what they want the world to know via their public fan pages, what new content would I really be subscribing to here?

I know that this feature doesn’t just apply to major celebrities, but you get the point.   Lines are getting greyer here. Could be a good thing, but my gut reaction is to feel a tad uneasy.

I’m Just Jaded

I really appreciate getting to trim down what I see from which friends. This is cool, and by far the best part of this new feature. But honestly, Facebook, I’m not inclined to use it, because you’re just going to change it up in two weeks anyway.

Hello, Twitter, is that you?

This whole subscribing-to-people-without-having-to-be-their-friend thing reeks of Twitter. I like using Twitter and the way it works. . .  when I’m on Twitter. Basically, I feel like this update begs the question: ‘ISN’T THAT WHAT TWITTER IS FOR?”

Let’s look at the numbers: Facebook has 750 million active users. Twitter just announced that it reached the 100 million active users milestone. If I were to make the assumption that everyone on Twitter is also on Facebook, I could reasonably assume that 650 million of the active users on Facebook are NOT  interested in Twitter. So, why are we trying to make Facebook more like Twitter?!

This Automates Trolling

Well, that about sums up my point there.

Those are my two cents on this update. I’d love to hear yours. If you’re interested, you can follow my public content on Twitter, which is where I will continue to focus on posting it until I see Facebook embrace the subscription thing for personal marketing.


Facebook Makes Sharing Easier

So, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t consider it a real week unless Facebook has made some sort of major interface change I have to adapt to. Don’t get me wrong; change is good, but sometimes it’s exhausting, and sometimes I don’t love the changes. Today, however, I’m happy to explain a User Interface change that I’m sure we will all agree is, well, just swell.

Inline Privacy Settings

Facebook has moved many of its privacy settings inline! Here, let me explain.

Before these changes were implemented, if you wanted to edit who in your friends lists could see what on your profile (i.e. Status Updates, About Me, Hometown, etc.), you had to comb through lists of options buried deep in your account settings. It was cumbersome to say the least. Now, these settings are visible right next to the piece of content you’re editing. Take a look:



Tag Approval

You remember that time you said you couldn’t make a your cousin’s wedding because you didn’t feel well, then your friend tagged you in a photo dancing on a table that same night, and your family was, like, SUPER mad? That’s not a thing anymore guys. You get to approve photo tags before all your friends see your indiscretions. You’ll simply see a Pending Posts link beneath the “Wall” link on your profile, where you’ll be prompted to approve the posts.

But wait!. . . There’s more! You’ll also be given the ability to approve tags that other friends try to add to your photos and posts. I feel liberated already.

That’s not all folks! You’ll also have more choices when removing  a tag someone else added. Choices include: a.) Remove tag, b.) Ask friend to take photo down, c.) Block friend. It’s like choosing the flavor of mustard I want from the store; I’m paralyzed with indecision.


So you spent forever splitting up your 4,500 friends up into appropriate lists so that you know that you’re sharing the right content with the right people, right? But you could never be certain the settings all worked the way you wanted, especially since they change so frequently. Now you can. Introducing. . . the “View Profile as” button!!! (applause roars in the background). This lets you impersonate any of your Facebook friends, so you can see what they can see.


Status Update Modifications

Status updates just got cooler, y’all. There are a couple nice new features to note:

1.) You can tag locations from your posts. Before, you had the check into a location from your smartphone using the Places feature. Now, you can search locations right at the status update field. Apparently, Never Never Land is a place.

2.) All media uploads are consolidated under Add Photo. I think this provides a cleaner, simpler interface.

3.) The Share Link feature is gone, now all you have to do to share a link is copy/paste the URL into your status update. You’ll get the same result.

All these updates boil down to a simpler, cleaner interface, more accessible privacy controls and more intuitive status update box. I heart all of these changes. What do you guys think?

Making LOVE | Schipul Love Fest

It’s Lovin’ Time! And we’ve kicked off the 2011 Schipul Love Fest with our  “Love Letters” Facebook contest.

3 Ways to Win

1.  Like the photo  and enter to win a $25 gift card

2.  Tag the photo  with the name of a friend to enter them for a chance to win a picnic for two at  Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston with goodies from  Rice Epicurean Markets

3.  Leave a comment  for a chance to win a $100 dinner at  Brennan’s of Houston.

We’ll give the winners a shoutout on  our Facebook wall Feb. 13, 2011.

The Schipulites are sending LOVE letters to kick off the 2011 Schipul Love Fest. Check out for contest details

Making LOVE

The coolest part about the making of LOVE, is it’s from the heart. We value our fans, clients and community and enjoy it when we can show you just how much!

Check out  the making of LOVE on Flickr and enter the  “Love Letters” contest on Facebook for a chance to win one of three heart-warming prizes!

How It Happened

Here’s exactly how it happened (basically). *cue dreamy flashback music*

It was a warm and sunny day in Houston (yesterday). The Schipul COMM team was in their morning meeting when all of a sudden  a mini celebration commenced.

S1: Hooray! It’s almost February. Time for Schipul Love Fest (We seriously begin conversations this way. I know.)

S2: What should we do to celebrate…?

S1: Something really cool.

They thought for a moment, but it was early, and little coffee had been consumed, and a meeting was at hand. So they put it aside for later.

“We’ll think of something,” said S2.  And with that the Schipulites began their meeting.

Soon before the meeting ended there was a loud gasp and a giddy giggle from S1.

“It would be soooo cute if we got everyone to spell the word ‘love’ on the parking garage roof and take a photo….I don’t know what we’d do with it, but it would be really cute,” she said.

The Schipulites laughed in agreement, and parted ways to begin their busy day.

Later on, she pondered aloud, “That picture would be really cute…and what if we made one of those fast forward videos of us spelling out the letters?!”

S2: OhMyGosh! We could put it on Facebook and ask people to tag their friends to win a prize.

And with that, the LOVE-struck Schipulites began the task of rule checking, prize assembling and cat wrangling for a photo on the parking garage roof.

And then they woke up. And remembered it was Houston. Which means the temperature dropped from a pleasant 68 degrees to a mind-boggling 40-something degrees. With rain (very likely the tears of a Schipulite wounded by Mother Nature).

There was no way they were schlepping up to the parking garage roof in the rain and cold to lie on the ground because that’s nuts and they’ve got their hair to consider!  So they brought the Love Fest inside – and magic happened.

Thanks for loving us!


Get increased Facebook security with HTTPS

Add extra Facebook security

Ah, the Internet.   Home of silly company names and weird acronyms for cool stuff.   Gowalla, anyone?

The latest focus in online verbiage that you should really know about is:   HTTPS (‘hypertext transfer protocol, with SSL security)

Facebook has recently added HTTPS support, which means that you now have the ability to access the Facebook site in a more secure environment.

How to update your Facebook HTTPS settings

  1. Visit your ‘Account Settings’ page:

    Update Facebook account settings

  2. Scroll to Account Security and click ‘Browse Facebook on a secure connection (HTTPS) whenever possible’:
  3. Don’t see this option yet? Hold on for a bit, as they are rolling it out over the next couple of weeks.

How will HTTPS affect my Facebook-ing?

The Facebook programmers have cautioned users that enabling this additional encryption may cause pages to load more slowly and also means that some 3rd party applications may not work until some additional tweaking is done.

What?   Facebook has been insecure this whole time?

Wellllll…   that’s a tricky question to answer.   This increase in encryption with HTTPS makes it that much harder to access your Facebook when you are, say, surfing on a public wifi connection.

But, as we’ve seen with numerous Facebook updates that have exposed information users didn’t intend to share publicly, approaching your Facebook surfing and sharing with caution is ALWAYS highly recommended.

Feeling overwhelmed or want a friendly person to friend on Facebook?   Contact the Schipulites to see how we can help!

Photo thanks to Flickr user Sean McGrath

Facebook Updates Profiles, Friends Lists & More

Facebook recently announced a new set of pretty cool updates.

Well, it’s very cool for Facebook, because it’s like what Matt Mullenweg said, “You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you’ve created until it’s out there.”

For everyone else, it can be obnoxious because it’ s not always clear what these updates mean to you. So let’s explore the updates and what they mean to you.

  • New Profile
  • Friend Lists
  • Mobile Controls
  • Friendship Pages

New Profile Page

FB Updates - New ProfileFacebook made a few changes that clean up the look of profile pages and engages the user in a different way.

I took a tour of the new profile page and basically it does three profile-specific things:

  • Puts your basic info at the top of the page below your name
  • Displays your most recent photos right below your basic info
  • Displays the FB navigation (Wall, Info, Photos)   below your profile picture on the left

Here’s what it means to you: the photos are first. Photos are the most used feature on Facebook, and now they’re easier to view. Everyone doesn’t have the new profile right now, but everyone will by early next year.

Friend Lists

The Friend lists are a bit tricky to navigate, but somewhat easy to create. If you hover near the number of friends you have, a pen icon appears. Click it and you’re directed to a page that lets you manage relationships. Visit this page to change your own relationship status, add family members, view your featured friends and create new lists.

The Mobile Controls

FB Updates - Mobile ControlsThe new mobile controls let you see what you’ve shared with applications and websites in one place. And it lets you manage the settings. The feature is available through the mobile site, so you’ll have to select “Go To Mobile Site” from your phone to use it.

What it means to you: You can make changes to privacy settings without having to be near a computer. Just realized your Starbucks check-ins are showing up on your profile? Now you can change that before you even get your latte.

Friendship Pages

FB Updates - friendship pagesFriendship Pages were launched several weeks ago, and I’m kind of in love with them. Like everything else, the more you put into them, the more you get out of them. Meaning, if you tag   your friends in photos of you together and interact through Facebook often, your friend page will be rich with content.

What this means to you: just by clicking the “Friendship” link, you’ll be able to see a history of your relationship with one of your friends. You can also see the relationship between mutual friends.

Want to learn more about the latest Facebook updates? Check out these articles:

Facebook profile pages get a big overhaul