But wait, this time it’s to help you understand how Facebook works and how you can control your information.
Thursday morning, as you logged onto Facebook at your desk, or on your daily commute to the grindstone, you probably got a little notification where for a miniscule of a second your heart skipped a beat wondering what fun awaited you in this glimmer of red. But alas, just another boring Facebook update that most people ignore, until they read about it on some website (like now) and get told what’s going on, and then decide whether they’ll complain (on Facebook) about it.
So, us being the lovely people that we are have decided to give you an overview of what’s changed and some even bigger changes the people at Facebook have been kind enough to give us a heads up on.
First up, and the most basic of the update was the introduction of Privacy Basics. Everyone loves a good rant about the constant changes to privacy settings on Facebook and the great lengths they appear to go to in order to ‘hide’ them from us, the perplexed user. Well, now there’s a handy new privacy tutorial on offer that can help you lock down who sees what and what you see. And it’s available in 36 languages, so take your pick. Facebook state that it’s the ‘latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with the people you want.’
Also flagged in the update are plans to help you get more out of Facebook through their apps and services. ‘Nearby Friends’ (currently available in some regions) aims to bring you ‘the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to.’ So, if you check in to a location you might suddenly see menus from a nearby restaurant, or updates from friends who might also be in the area.
One update that we’re really looking forward to seeing, and that we’ve been expecting for some time now is a ‘Buy now’ button. Facebook are currently testing this in some regions where not only can you find new products on Facebook, but you can also buy them without ever leaving the platform. Something both Twitter and Pinterest have been in the works with for a while too. Will anyone need an e-commerce website anymore?! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet I guess.
And one of the last big updates will relate to ads and making them more transparent. This is something that has been frustrating many users for some time now, so it’s great to see them finally do something about it. So, now when you choose to hide an ad on your desktop Newsfeed, it will apply to all the other devices you use Facebook on. Some of you may be screaming at your screen right now saying ‘You mean it didn’t before?!’ Yep, it didn’t, which was a bit sneaky. But all good now, as long as you live in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK for the moment.
FYI – the updates that are ready to go take effect from Jan 1 2015 – watch this space for the ‘Buy it now’ et al, we’ll be monitoring that very closely… because we have no lives and obsess over every little Facebook change, but hey, someone’s got to.
Are you happy to see these changes come to Facebook?