How about “Prozac” or “Slit Your Wrists” High? Sheesh.
As I watch my son play Angry Birds on the iPad, it got me thinking about what Angry Birds would have looked like if it were written by Infocom. Here’s a sample for your nostalgic enjoyment.
Facebook has rolled out a new feature that changes the social networking playing field significantly.
In a blog post, Facebook explains the new feature
Smartly, having been stung by user backlash in the past with new feature implementations, users must opt-in to turn on this new feature.
Users can opt-in or check their status for that feature, here:
What does it do? It allows a user to share posts, pictures, etc with any other FB user, even if they aren’t friends. Users who opt-in now have the option to post things the same way they have in the past, but instead of other FB users having to come to your wall to see what you posted and made public, they can “subscribe” to your public feed and see those posts/shared pictures through their Wall feed.
Why has Facebook done this? Social networking services have thus far been somewhat segmented. Twitter is effectively purely public, and limited in character count, what you can share etc. Facebook has mostly been used by individuals to link together with people they know personally. Google+, the most recent entrant to the field, attempts to give users a hybrid of the 2 with more control over how things are shared and how they are presented with the “feeds” of data from the people they follow or are friends with.
If you’re Facebook, Google+ was a serious threat, as the features offered allowed greater control. The Achilles heal for Google+ and the escape route for Facebook is critical mass. Everyone is already on Facebook, right? So if Facebook can just implement features that negate the feature advantage that Google+ has, why would the user base move? They wouldn’t.
I find it interesting that Facebook announced just yesterday that they’re putting off their IPO until late next year. Is it really just market conditions, or do they see the potential growth in getting their users to open up a good portion of their content to the public, and the explosion in connections between people who can now use Facebook like Twitter or Google+?
So, what does this look like when you enable it and where do public posts now go when you enable subscriptions? Let’s look at Kevin Rose’s profile.
Kevin, founder at Digg and now of Milk, is a friend of Mark Zuckerberg, and an early adopter of all things web has apparently figured out how to convert his fans on his Facebook fan page to Subscribers on his publicly viewable Facebook page. Notice that Kevin has more than 100K subscribers, but just 655 friends. So when Kevin posts something on FB he can choose whether it’s for his friends/family, or public for subscribers as well. If he chooses public, that post pushes out to all of his subscribers’ Facebook Wall feeds. So do the replies to those posts.
If you click on Kevin’s subscriber’s link you get a list of his subscribers (albeit very slowly as there are 100K+). Seeing that list shows you that some people have already enabled the subscription option, allowing you to subscribe to their public feeds as well, without being their FB friend.
What does this all mean? The ability to share content/links with more people in more ways. A far more powerful social networking tool.
While I think Twitter is currently a more useful tool (for me) to get information, Google+ just got marginalized in a big way. While Facebook still has work to do in explaining this new option to users, there’s now little reason to leave Facebook for Google+ from a feature standpoint.