Want evidence that Facebook is feeling the heat of Google+’s success? The company is announcing changes that give users more control over how content is shared. Facebook’s efforts seem to be a response to the most popular features of Google’s social network, praised for its tighter privacy controls.
Tagging has become a popular feature on Facebook, but many of us find ourselves tagged in posts, checkins, or photos that we’d rather not have been. The site now will give users the option to approve all tags before they appear on a user’s profile.
Facebook has made a curious change here, though: a user will be able to tag users that they are not friends with, however, in that case all tags would need to be approved by that person before appearing.
It was not immediately clear if the changes in how tags are process extended to Facebook’s much-maligned facial recognition feature.
Sharing settings have been moved “in-line”, meaning they now appear in the entry box to the left of the “Post” button. Each group that it can be shared to will be labled, but of course you’ll have to set up those groups in your privacy settings in order to get the maximum benefit out of the feature.
Facebook is also making it easier to take appropriate action on content that a user is tagged in if he or she finds it objectionable. When removing a tag, users will be presented with a dialog screen presenting three options — removal of the tag, messaging the user to remove the content altogether, or blocking the individual who tagged you.
“Taken together, we hope these new tools make it easier to share with exactly who you want, and that the resulting experience is a lot clearer and a lot more fun”, product vice president Chris Cox said in a blog post describing the new features.