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Facebook Updates Sharing Options, Credit Google+?

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Facebook has launched a set of new privacy options that give users greater control over tags and post visibility. The new controls seem to be an attempt to match the most praised features of Google+.

Facebook's New Features

Facebook's post announcing the changes outlines a lot of extras, but they can be summed up as follows:

  • Users will now be given the opportunity to review and approve tags before those tags are made public or the images/posts themselves appear on their user profile.
  • Users can now alter the privacy settings of any given post even after the post has been published.
  • It's now possible to tag users who you're not friends with; those users will then be able to approve or deny those tags. You can also add geo-location tags to any post.
  • Several privacy controls, including sharing settings and the option to "view profile as," have been moved to more visible locations.

Facebook also specified that the sharing menu "will be expanding over time to include smaller groups of people you may want to share with, like co-workers, Friend Lists you've created, and Groups you're a member of."

Matching Google+

Facebook Google

Unsurprisingly, many of these features were seen as attempts to mimic Google+. Bradley Horowitz, Google Product VP for Plus, was interviewed the same day these features were initially released. Horowitz called the new settings "familiar," but also stated that those at Google were excited to see Facebook making choices that benefited users.

Google+ was noted by comScore as the fastest growing website of all time, so it's not hard to see Facebook's motivation for matching unique features of their new competitor.

In addition to the announced changes that are so similar to Google+ Circles, Facebook recently announced a Skype partnership for video chatting (similar to Google+ Hangouts) and the acquisition of a mobile group-messaging service (similar to Google+ Huddle).

You Know What's Cool? A Trillion Pageviews

Despite the introduction of Plus, Facebook is still faring well, having lost no notable chunk of its user-base since Plus's late-June release. Facebook also saw 162 million U.S. visits in July compared to 160 million in June and 157 million in May. Meanwhile, all Google properties combined reached 182 million U.S. visits in July.

Meanwhile, Facebook hit 1 trillion pageviews in June and 870 million unique visitors, according to data from Google's DoubleClick ad network. That works out to 1,150 pageviews per visitor (a pageview includes actions including visiting profiles, every photo clicked on, games, etc.). Coming in second was YouTube, with 790 million uniques and 100 billion page views.


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