Facebook made some major changes to the News Feed. It now features “top stories” marked with a blue corner and a floating Twitter-like real-time feed of status updates, wall posts, photo tags and everything else that shows up in the normal News Feed (Facebook is calling it “ticker”).
I’m surprised “Facebook” isn’t trending nationally or worldwide on Twitter (as of 2:00 a.m. Sept. 21).
However since Facebook users discovered that you can get the old News Feed back by changing your language to English UK, “English UK” and “Account Settings” are fifth and seventh, respectively, worldwide. Judging by the tweets and statuses, social networkers are not at all happy with these changes.
I remember nearly three months ago my friends were abuzz with excitement for Google’s newest product: Google+. At the time the social network was invite-only, but you can wave that bit goodbye. As of today, Google+ is available to anyone “of legal age to form a binding contract with Google” (18+) with a Google account.
When I got my invite I couldn’t wait to sign in and be apart of the potential downfall of Facebook. I honestly didn’t know what to expect.
The biggest draws to Google+ for me were 1) Hangouts looked cool, 2) “Circles” were easier to manage than Facebook lists, 3) I didn’t have to mess with too many privacy settings and 4) I can access Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader and Google Calendar from my social network page.
On the other hand, Facebook’s latest updates seem to be in direct response to everything that makes Google+ a viable rival. Facebook launched its Skype-powered video chat shortly after. Just last week, they introduced improved friends lists which automatically sort your friends. Unfortunately, FB seems to have gone backwards in intuitive privacy settings, but I can deal with that.
I don’t have many complaints about Facebook. I’ve been using it for nearly five years and it’s served me pretty well. Despite the many changes since 2004 — the addition of fill-in-the-blank-ville, the facelifts, new useless features, etc. — I still turn to Facebook when I want to know what my friends are doing. While I can do the same on Google+, I have significantly I have fewer friends on G+ than on Facebook and most of them use Facebook more than Google+.
Perhaps now that anyone can join Google+, it will gain momentum and prove to be better than Facebook — or perhaps it will fall by the wayside like Google Wave (which I thought was brilliant). For now, I’m sticking with good ol’ Facebook… at least until its updates become too unbearable.
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