It’s no surprise that Facebook has issued another change to the hugely popular social media platform. I admit, I’m usually one of those “resistant to change – don’t touch my facebook layout” types, but I can completely get behind the recent changes Facebook has implemented. Mainly, because it gives Facebook Pages a broader reach, more options and the ability to interact with other pages and some personal users.
One of the key new features for a Facebook Page will make things a whole lot easier for Page owners and administrators. Basically, facebook page owners will be able to interact in ways previously only personal users could. Facebook Page owners and admins can comment on other pages as the page itself. This will increase Facebook Page interaction with users and allow a Page to make known their existence on Facebook in new ways.
Where before, a Facebook Page seemed to be just an abstract, bureaucratic company posting on various promotions, now Facebook Pages can feature their admins and put a face behind the Facebook Page. This will add depth and a personal touch will add to user interaction. Facebook Page admins will also be able to receive live notifications which will help with real-time interaction .
Page Owners will be able to “like” other pages and view their own news-feed similar to personal user pages. This will make it easier to keep current on what is going on on similar pages, pages of business partners or even competitors.
Photos and Layout. Since the new Facebook Pages layouts are similar to personal user accounts, you’ll notice that photos are at the top. This will prompt an opportunity for page admins to upload photos more often and change the scenery on their Page more often.
Since the layout is different, you’ll notice the “tabs” are now in the left margin. This does make them less noticeable to see, but the tab names will be able to be a bit longer.
Facebook Fan Appreciation
Now, when you look at a Facebook Page for a business and such, the feed automatically defaults to “Everyone”. So, instead of just showing what the Page/Organization has been up to, the new default settings show fan comments and posts as well.
The added variety and noticeable interaction lets other fans see how peers engage with your Facebook Page. High levels of interaction show an organizations efforts to be involved and how users view the organization in turn.
Overall, adding personal touches to Facebook Pages will ultimately increase a page’s views, fan base and promote user interaction – these are all great things for businesses and I’m happy about the changes.
Scroll to Account Security and click ‘Browse Facebook on a secure connection (HTTPS) whenever possible’:
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.
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.
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
The 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 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:
Jimmy Kimmel has named Wednesday, November 17, 2010 National Unfriend Day
NUD is a day where all Facebook users have the freedom to delete or “unfriend” people from their Facebook profiles that are not really their friends. We here at Schipul applaud Mr. Kimmel’s cause, and are here to help you get the most out of NUD this Wednesday.
For the purposes of this post, we’re going to use Dunbar’s Number, or 150, as a target for the number of friends you’ll have after participating in NUD. Although, we’ll let you go as high as 230 if you so wish. I will run through my own criteria for NUD, and give you an idea of how I will be dropping people from my own Facebook profile.
At the writing of this post, I have 408 friends on my Facebook profile. I have tried many times to keep this number below 300, but it would appear I have been remiss in my Facebook friend gardening. Before we go any further, It is important for you to be comfortable with the idea that you can and should regularly delete people from your Facebook profile.
We’re going to start out with a couple of groups of people that are sure to be easy targets for you to unfriend.
We all add people when we’re networking whether it be professionally or socially. Oftentimes, nothing comes from that initial meeting, and these people sit on our profiles. You’ll see them pop up on your profile from time to time, and you really have no idea who they are. It is entirely okay to delete them. If you run into them again, and they mention it, simply tell them you were weeding out your friends list recently, and cut them. You can always add them back. If they get snippy about the whole thing, ask yourself if this kind of person you want on your Facebook profile anyway. Think about it.
If you do not can’t remember where or when you met them, UNFRIEND THEM!
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Our next group to unfriend is pretty easy. These are the folks you’ve hidden from your Newsfeed. You may have done this when they went overboard with their political opinions during election season, you may have hidden them because they were going overboard with offensive, annoying or TMI updates. In any case, you’ve removed them from your Facebook kingdom, and you need to finish the job by deleting them altogether.
To find this group, scroll to the bottom of your Newsfeed, and click on Edit Options :
Next, if you’ve hidden people, they will appear like so in the box below.
If you don’t see them,UNFRIEND THEM!
High School/College Friends
I don’t know about you, but I am not all that close with a lot of my high school friends. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I just don’t really keep in touch with many of them. However, this is one of the scariest group of people for Facebook users, old and new, to deal with. “I joined Facebook, and all these people from high school started adding me!” “We weren’t friends in high school, but now they want to be my Facebook friend.”
This needs to stop, and I’m telling you it’s okay to say NO. Ignore the requests when they come in, and go through and delete anyone from your school days you don’t want on your profile. You don’t owe these people anything. If anything, I would highly recommend creating a friends group of your high school friends, so you can keep track of and/or limit their access. Facebook can be a great tool for staying updated on your old school friends, but it’s not the sole reason for using Facebook, nor does it make a good reason to be friends with someone.
You’re not in high school anymore, UNFRIEND THEM!
That covers the basic groups of people where you’re likely to find a good number of NUD candidates. I must stress to you that unfriending anyone is perfectly normal, justified and healthy. People can always be added back later, and you can always claim it was an accident. If someone continues to push you, I shouldn’t have to convince you why that isn’t someone you want on your Facebook to begin with.
To close, I’m going to give you the simple criteria I generally use when weeding out my Facebook friends. If the answer is no to any of these questions, they get the boot.
Do I talk to or see this person regularly?
Do I share special memories with this person?
Does this person frequently comment on my posts?
Do I frequently comment on this person’s posts?
Do I have a professional need to stay connected to this person?
Do I have a social need to stay connected with to person?
Is this person married to or dating a friend I am keeping?
Does this person’s posts provide me with news and information that is important to me?
Does this person have less than 1,000 friends?
Facebook is an incredibly powerful tool for you to manage and communicate with the important people in your life, but it quickly loses its effectiveness if you have too many friends. And there is no special badge you win for having the most friends within your social circle.
I’ll return on Wednesday with the final tally of my Facebook pruning. If you tweet, we encourage you to share your National Unfriend Day number with the hashtag #NUD.
Spread the word of this great day when you’ll take back your Facebook profile! The time to unfriend is NOW!
And when you’re finished unfriending, let Biz Markie bring it home.
UPDATE: As promised, I am back to reveal the number of people I unfriended on this glorious day of unfriendingness.
Today I unfriended 41 people on Facebook. I am actually pleased to know that I have about a 90% legitimate friend quotient on Facebook. I did learn a few things after writing this post, and having conversations on this topic.
1. People are sensitive. While I feel they are sometimes TOO sensitive, you must expect some push back from people. In my case, I’d say there were probably about 5-10 people that I could possibly expect some kind of negative reaction and/or situation to arise down the road. So be it, life goes one, it’s not personal, it’s just Facebook.
2. Friends on Facebook do not equal friends in real life. The most shocking thing to me was how many of my friends seemed to fear that I was going to unfriend them. These were people that I wouldn’t EVER dream of unfriending, yet they made comments suggesting they were worried. This tells me we put too much and too little value on these online connections. Or, more importantly, we cannot rely solely on social media to maintain our closest relationships. It greatly bothers me that I would be connected to someone I don’t know or care about at the expense of my cherished relationships.
3. Unfriending feels good. Sure it might get messy, but tell me of a time you’ve cleaned something where you didn’t come out with a little dirt on you. Life goes on, it washes off, but you’re standing in the middle of a clean room that you know you’ve worked hard to look this way. Now, if only we could keep it clean ALL THE TIME.
I hope you take some time today to edit your Friends list on Facebook. In the end, I am certain there are a good number of people who you can delete for any number of valid reasons. Remember, if you don’t know or trust everyone on your friends list, they may leave you and your friends open to harm through scams and viruses.
In a way, unfriending people is a favor to your remaining friends. Think about it.
If you are an Admin on a Facebook Page you may have noticed already the new ‘Spamâ€ option on your pages. You may also already seen it at work hiding those pesky sales pitches for Magic Acai Berries and the like.
Facebook is now helping Page admins ensure that the most valuable content posted by users on their Page wall is more visible to anyone viewing the Page. We are now offering automatic content filtering on Page walls that will ensure that posts soliciting spam are removed from public view as well as ensure that posts containing good content remain more visible.
If you have your page setting such that posts to your page are separated by your organization’s and then all others, you will see the ‘Spamâ€ link as the 4th option in this list. Not to worry’ only Page Admins can see this link.
Clicking the ‘Spamâ€ link will show you all the content Facebook as deemed spam worthy and moved off your page.
Mouseing over the spam post will reveal a little ‘Xâ€ to the top right of the post. Clicking the ‘Xâ€ will reveal several options:
1. Remove the post
2. Unmark as Spam
3. Report as Abuse
If the post does really belong in the general content of your organization’s Facebook pageâ€¦ then by all means click that Unmark option. If however the post does fall into that dark side of the internet category called spam, then I suggest you report as abuse and then remove it. This will alert Facebook to the insidious nature of the offending poster and may hopefully save a fellow organization admin a few moments of time later on down the line.
If you have a mixed wall, meaning you show all posts from your organization mixed with other’s post, you won’t see the spam link. You will want to first click the ‘Optionsâ€ link, then following the same instructions above.
Thanks to popularity of Facebook we can use it connect with like minded people and promote, support and grow our non-profit and for profit organizations alikeâ€¦ andâ€¦ due to the popularity of Facebook the spammers will start to show up more and more. Thankfully, Facebook is putting measures into place to make the Facebook experience a good one for both admins and users.
It’s not often we get to talk about Hollywood here at the Official Schipul Blog. However, with the release of The Social Network, we’re rolling out the red carpet, and grabbing a bowl of popcorn (with extra butter, natch)!
The Social Network, aka “The Facebook Movie”, is based on The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. Mezrich is most famous for writing the book Bringing Down the House, which inspired the movie 21 about a group of MIT students who take Vegas to the tune of $3 million. So, yeah, Mezrich knows high drama in the palaces of higher education.
I saw the movie Friday night with the lovely, Caitlin Kaluza, and we made for an interesting dichotomy of Facebook users. Caitlin is one of the lucky folks to have actually used www.thefacebook.com (pictured above). I didn’t start using it until shortly after it was opened up to the general public. One of the interesting aspects of watching The Social Network is freshness of its history, the “I remember when . . .” moments.
In the end, this is where the rubber meets the road in The Social Network. It is a fast paced, intelligent, humorous romp through the history of Facebook. The payoff is going to be in the conversations the movie is sure to start amongst your friends. Indeed, I am anxious for more of my friends to watch it to hear their reactions, share their stories. I’m also fairly certain that I will be back in a theater to watch it again soon.
A lot of talk is being made about The Social Network being the “movie of a generation.”
It is a movie about the idea that is currently defining a generation. The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink defined a generation, and The Social Network does not compare. However, The Social Network will go down as one of the best films of 2010, and that is a distinction I feel it carries incredibly well. By my count, I see at least 5 Oscar nominations for the film: Best Picture, Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg), Best Director (David Fincher), Best Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and Best Score (Trent Renzor). Any more than that will be a based on whether the Academy deems this the “it” movie of the year. As for actual wins? Eh, it’s really too early to call, but I would like to see how a showdown between The Social Network and Inception plays out this Oscar Season.
In the meantime, please excuse me, I need to go share this link on my Facebook.
Parts of the interwebz are buzzing today because the NBA’s Free Agency season kicked off at midnight this morning. Lebron James and Dwayne Wade head what is being hailed as the most talented free agent class in NBA history. To give you a sense of how HUGE this really is, I’m going to explain it in terms of technology and social media.
Lebron James is Steve Jobs and the Cleveland Cavaliers are Apple. You cannot (and fans of both don’t want to) think of one without thinking of the other. The separation of the two is just too painful to think about.
The Chicago Bulls are Microsoft, a once great and powerful force looking to regain past glory. Imagine Steve Jobs going to work at Microsoft. Imagine how that would feel to Apple employees and fans. That is what it would feel like if Lebron signs with Chicago, and it would replace this as the worst moment in Cavaliers franchise history:
The Miami Heat is Google and Dwayne Wade, who is likely to stay in Miami, is CEO Eric Schmidt. Imagine the Olympics are an iPhone keynote where Schmidt’s cameo is a Dwayne Wade assist leading to a Lebron James monster jam. Heat General Manager Pat Riley is the mysterious search algorithm, the source of Google’s power.
The New Jersey Nets (Brooklyn) are Facebook. Strategically well positioned with star power, Jay-Z, and a new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, with limitless cash reserves.
The New York Knicks are MySpace. Once one of the coolest places in the NBA, now mostly pathetic and lame.
Facebook has been booming in the last year. New features, controversies, applications, and millions of new users. However, you can no longer count me in that group of people. Follow along as I detail my reasons for leaving the most popular social network of all time.
Special Note: This is my story from my perspective as a Facebook user. Facebook has over 400 Million other users, and it is filled with marketing and community building opportunities. You shouldn’t base your decision about Facebook solely on my experience.
I signed up for Facebook when I was a college sophomore at Texas A&M in 2004. This was when it was university students only and they were regularly updating the homepage to list the new schools that were available on Facebook. I refer to this period as the “Good Ole’ Days of Facebook”. Call me elitist, but I loved when Facebook was only for college kids. There weren’t as many features back in those days, and friend lists were a manageable number for most, hovering around 200 on average.
The basic features were pretty simple. You could write on someones wall, or send them a message. There was a really cool feature where you could see your extended network (friends of friends). It was a perfect way to connect with kids I knew in other states or at other schools. And at that time, anyone that wasn’t in college couldn’t spy on your wall or photos or anything else you did on Facebook. It was ours and ours alone, and that was the best privacy controls we ever had. Then things started to change.
In 2006, Facebook introduced the News Feed, and it freaked everyone out. You could now see how many times Sally updated her favorite TV Shows, Quotes, etc. in a day. Some of my friends have 50+ updates in a span of 20 minutes, and they were all thoroughly embarrassed to see them listed next to each other on their friends’ news feeds. I personally loved the news feed, as it kept me from having to visit everyones page to “stalk” them. This also marked the first privacy concerns for Facebook, as the controls for what showed up in the news feed were not added until later.
As Facebook became essential for college students, I began to fall out of love with the service. I would get important messages sent through Facebook instead of email and would end up missing out on things. The email forwarding for messages or other invites were not around at that time, and is now fodder for viruses. The photos and tagging came about, which is probably the only useful service from Facebook, and immediately everyone was tagged at their best and worst. “Un-tagging” yourself was now added to the to-do list for finding a job.
I enjoyed keeping up with my friends, but their was and still is large social pressure to “friend” anyone that you have met in person, even if it was for 10 minutes at a party. I, along with most people, had grown my friend list to a point where it was now full of more people I wouldn’t consider close friends than with my real friends. It had become an acquaintance manager, but most of the features like news feed were only really useful for your real friends. I began logging in less and less because the news feed was filled with a bunch of crap I didn’t really care about. Then came applications.
The Application Madness
This was the beginning of the end. When Facebook applications first surfaced in 2007, it seemed like a breakthrough that was moving Facebook into a real platform. What really happened was much different. Thousands of developers created applications that you probably didn’t care about at all. Then, one of your 400 friends who you didn’t really know would try to get you to sign up for them. Mafia Wars, Dinosaur eggs, 50 different birthday calendars. There was no end to this stream of useless and distracting invites. All of this encouraged me to login even less. While you can now block all application invites from a friend, these controls did not exist at the time. The push of features without the necessary controls in the backend was starting to become a horrible trend. Next was the privacy concerns with applications. Developers were making cash hand over fist by offering in game points for your information. Sometimes it was a harmless form that took your email address. Other times it was with a credit card signup that could mar a freshman’s credit if they weren’t careful. And all so you could grow grapes faster on a make-believe farm.
There were little things like Facebook Beacon and Phone numbers in the iPhone app, and the recent additions of connecting with websites automatically that I truly despise. I eventually removed most of my “friends” because I couldn’t remember who they were. I blocked all applications from everyone, and tried my best to block many of the emails, but I wasn’t very successful at that. Then, in the last few months, I just got fed up with the privacy errors that Facebook was making over and over. I decided to weigh the pros and cons of staying on Facebook, and it was clear that it was time for me to leave.
Being tagged in photos I didn’t take
Hearing news and updates from people I didn’t keep in touch with very well
My information was being sold to the highest bidder
The distractions and noise of applications, news feed, and messages/emails
The social pressure of “friending” anyone I may have met
The time-suck that is all of Facebook
If I were a college student, things might be different. For now, I think Facebook gives you a false sense of staying in touch with friends. Reading online that Joe just got engaged because her status changed is far different than a phone call or a real-life hug and high five. I spend quite a bit of time on the internet, and for me, interactions with other people are best done offline. If someone is looking for me, they shouldn’t have much trouble finding me. And if I am looking for someone, I can use Google or ask my girlfriend to look them up on Facebook.
The privacy concerns continue to get bigger and bigger. It’s not that I don’t want people to know who I am. It’s that I want complete control over who sees what, and I don’t want things turned on in the background without my explicit knowledge. Facebook has always tried to fix things, butneverbeforetheyneededtobefixed.
You have to understand that Facebook sells attention and information. Facebook users, their data, and their attention are the products that Facebook sells to advertisers. I’d prefer not to be sold to when trying to relax. I consider myself a pretty savvy web user, and jumping through all of the Facebook hoops to block things is taxing for me. I can’t image that the average Facebook user monitors or even understands much of this.
Back in my engineering classes we talked about Peak Oil and what it meant for the world. Now, I’ve been thinking much more about Peak Facebook and what it means for the internet and social networks. How much longer are you prepared to remain on Facebook?
I have been very happy with twitter as a service. The relationship (“follower”) is only one-way, meaning I can follow Coco’s updates without receiving a reciprocal follow from him. I also use Tumblr and Google Reader for finding interesting things on the web, Flickr for photographs, YouTube and Vimeo for video, and del.icio.us for social bookmarking.
I maintain my own website on wordpress to host my info and content, and it has a simple contact form (and Google Phone number) for people to get in touch with me. I keep up with my friends through email and the other services mentioned above, and do my best to see them in real life as much as possible. In a long Kevin Kelly article about Amish Hackers, he quotes one Amish-man describing the problem with PDA’s, smartphones, and other devices being that “you got messages rather than conversations.” I have made it a goal of mine to have more conversations and send/receive fewer messages.
I think Facebook sends many messages and offers very few conversations. This is true of many of the services I use, however Facebook is (was) the only one that bills itself as a platform to connect people. Messages (status updates, photos, “likes”, links, notes, etc.) from hundreds of acquaintances cannot replace conversations with people I care about. Facebook doesn’t help me to connect with my friends, and instead feeds me ads, invites, messages, and other things that take time away from my day. I’m choosing a different route than most, and I’m very comfortable doing so.
Yes, Facebook has changed your privacy controls yet again, which now feels like the 10th time this year. The repeated changes Zuckerberg has made to Facebook has subsequently confused and angered users, even prompting a “Quit Facebook Day“. With bad press circulating, Facebook decided to simplify controls making it easier to decide what and most importantly what not you want to share.
Understanding These Controls
The first difference you will see with the privacy settings is not new features, but rather the consolidation of many. Facebook has reduced the number of settings from nearly 50 to less than 15. Now users can change many different settings with a single click, rather than manually selecting (or more likely deselecting) each individually. Facebook has also reduced the number of separate pages in the privacy settings page from 13 to 8.
The picture above illustrates how the controls have been redesigned. Facebook hopes to alleviate your frustration with privacy, so next time you log in make sure to check out the lay out. If you would like to read more about the changes you can read “Controlling How You Share” explanation or the “understanding the changes” blog post.
There has been a LOT of discussion about Facebook’s policies regarding your personal information on the web. The web site ReclaimPrivacy.org has launched a privacy scanner for you to use to see if any of your personal information is vulnerable on the web.
These directions on how to scan your profile are also available on the website:
A series of six scans will be run on your profile.
Anything that rates below Good (green) will be flagged and will provide you links to those relevant privacy settings to change.
I initially received two Cautions (yellow) that I was able to tweak to attain Good ratings across the board. It is advisable you make the same tweaks to your settings to maintain the same level of security. We also recommend you encourage all of your friends to scan their own profiles.
Facebook, for right or for wrong, has taken a lot of flack for not protecting users’ personal information. However, all of these issues can be resolved if users take personal responsibility for their privacy settings. If you fail to take proper care of your privacy settings, you are leaving you and your friends’ personal information vulnerable on the web.