With all the hype surrounding Google+, two weeks ago I surmised that we were looking at short term excitement and that Facebook already had the same Circles concepts, just hidden and that they would change that to eliminate Google+’s only edge. As stated:
Facebook will revamp the user interface to interact with ‘lists’ which they’ll likely rebrand as well to make it something with a more catchy name and of course they’ll be able to grab headlines for a few days with this. Since Facebook already dominates this market once they turn this switch on there’s very little reason for anyone to use Google+. There just aren’t enough users currently and to convince people to switch just to be hip isn’t going to cut it.
How far away is this? No idea but I presume that Facebook would be pretty close on this one and would likely want to ensure that what they release is polished and not a beta and they’ll likely want to hit the market with updates to their mobile apps at the same time to ensure an effective blow.
And done. Today Facebook announced a series of improvements to their website that impact a lot of control and privacy features, and included in this bundle is a quick way to control who you are sharing information with (just like Circles). Generally, what they did is take features they had and were hidden and made them inline to clean up the way it’s viewed and make it far more obvious and easy to use. So you can control who can see your profile, approve getting tagged in a photo before it appears in your profile and of course, sharing controls. “The control for who can see each post will be right inline. For each audience, there is now an icon and label to help make it easier to understand and decide who you’re sharing with.”
Here’s a little video for those of you who are into visuals:
The web page updates are be released over the next few days. They’ll need to update mobile apps as well to integrate this but again, I wouldn’t expect this to be too far off.
OK glad this whole Google+ thing is done so the five people I know who use it (but are as vocal as 50) can finally get in line and just use Facebook again like everyone else.