The 4 P’s of Facebook Changes – Publisher, Privacy, Pictures and Places


Just when you felt like you had finally really become one with your Facebook personal profile, Facebook went changed some of your key profile features. The main areas affected by the changes are your publisher, privacy, pictures and (mobile-only) places. Before getting too frustrated with the social giant, first understand that the changes are without a doubt another big step in Facebook’s never-ending quest to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” As you will see, the majority of the changes are focused on moving privacy controls more inline, right next to what you post.

In an effort to help you better understand and more quickly utilize the many benefits of Facebook’s latest changes, I want to provide you with some of the best information and resources I have found and personally used to become better acquainted with updated features.

For starters, Facebook Fan Favorite Mari Smith highlighted the recent changes made to the “profile publisher” in a post on Google+.  Mari has a great way of making Facebook understandable for us “common folk” so hopefully this list will help you out as much as it did me. <!–more–>

Publisher: (The publisher is the box where you post updates/share content at the top of your News Feed and profile wall)

1) Public – regards the level of privacy for each post you share now, the “everyone” option is now called “public” but it does the exact same as before, insofar as “everyone” meant non-friends as well as friends. Likely there was much confusion on this taxonomy: a user could easily think that “everyone” meant all their friends when, in fact, it meant public (anyone regardless of whether you’re friends or not). So, this is a welcome change for most peeps, I’m sure. As we had before, you can set the default visibility setting under privacy (see privacy below), and select the visibility on a post-by-post basis.

2) Geotagging – you can now add your location from your desktop or mobile device to any status update or photo. Just click the little “pin” icon. (I’m personally not a huge fan of geo-tagging everything, especially if you work from home. Just sayin! Actually, you can add a city only, if you like).  Note from Shirley: Facebook Places on mobile app is being phased out, see: http://www.facebook.com/about/location.

3) Tag friends you’re with – this isn’t really new, per se; we could easily tag friends before (via the Places check-in on mobile, or via @ tagging on desktop). Now, click the little people+ (yep, that’s a +!) icon to tag friends. Note: this particular tag feature only tags friends and is intended to be for friends you’re actually with in person. I would use this feature with discernment because your post automatically shows up on that friend(s)’ wall too, although with the new privacy settings users can set tags to be approved first (see privacy below).

4) @ Tag any Page – now you can include an @ tag of any Facebook fan page, whether you’ve liked the page or not, in your status update or tag photos. (As before, the drop down tag menu activates upon typing an “@” or just an uppercase letter). This is potentially good news for businesses. Of course, we’d prefer users to join our fan pages. But, by removing the barrier of having to like a page before you can tag it, this could open up a new avenue of visibility. Apparently, users can also @ tag any non-friend in status updates and photos, but I’ve played with this extensively and am seeing that, so far, I can only tag friends, not non-friends.

5) Links – the “Link” button has been removed; a popular question I’m seeing so far is: “How do I add a link now?” Just type/paste the URL in the status update field and as soon as you hit the space bar, a preview shows below. Once the preview box shows, you can then remove the URL from the text area of your status before posting, if you wish. And, if you don’t want to post the preview, just click the “x.” We used to have it this way a while back. I guess Facebook is going for a cleaner interface by removing Links and Videos from the sharing options.

6) Videos – the “Video” button has been removed; it’s now under Photos (of course!). Just click the Photos link, then Add Photos and you’ll see the option to select a video file.

Read more of Mari Smith’s Google+ post on the recent Facebook profile changes.

Privacy

In addition to the changes to the publisher are perhaps the even more compelling changes that were made to your Facebook privacy options. Again, privacy controls have been shifted more inline, right next to where you post. The two areas of privacy that underwent significant change are how tags work, how you can limit your audience for past posts and how your audience options are set for installed apps.

One of the coolest new privacy settings you are going to want to pay close attention to is your ability to now pre-approve your Facebook tags. If you turn on the “Profile Review” setting you will have the ability to approve any content in which you have been tagged.

If you decide you want to change the distribution of a post after you have posted it, you can hover over the post to see the settings and edit them.  To understand the at-a-glance settings: globe icon =Public, people icon=Friends, and gear icon = Custom.

Really the best place to learn about all the new privacy settings is direct from Facebook on their  privacy resource page: https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy.

Photos

Facebook has made in effort to not only display your images larger but also faster. You will notice that the lightbox is now an opaque white rather than black and the “x” you use to close images is a little harder to see, up in the far top right corner.

Places
According to Facebook’s Aug. 23 blog post, they are phasing out Facebook Places that allowed users to “check in” via the Facebook Smartphone app when physically at their favorite locations.  To quote Facebook: “We are phasing out the mobile-only Places feature. Settings associated with it are also being phased out or removed.” In replacing Places, Facebook now lets you add a location to anything from anywhere, regardless if you are on your computer or smart phone or posting a status update, photo or Wall post.

Learn more about how Facebook locations now work here:  http://www.facebook.com/about/location.

And finally, some of you may also be seeing the new Facebook ticker currently being tested. If not, click here to learn more about what may be coming soon.

Here are some handy Facebook Resources Quick Links:

Full list Facebook Changes announced Aug 23,2011
Facebook Sharing
Facebook Profile Controls
Facebook Privacy
Facebook Tagging

If you think your friends/fans can benefit from the information you just learned here, be sure to “like” the post and “share the knowledge” using the social options lurking to the left.  If you have any questions or discussions about the new Facebook profile changes, I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

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