Facebook pays homage to Google+ with enhanced sharing options, privacy changes and new features

Facebook is about to go live with a bucket-load of improvements in a move that brings many of Google+’s most-loved circle-based privacy options to Facebook.

“Today we're announcing a bunch of improvements that make it easier to share posts, photos, tags and other content with exactly the people you want,” announced Facebook’s Chris Cox in an August 23 post on the company’s blog.

“You have told us that ‘who can see this?’ could be clearer across Facebook,” he added, “so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward. The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect. Plus there are several other updates here that will make it easier to understand who can see your stuff (or your friends') in any context.”

One of the biggest differences users will notice once the changes are implemented is Facebook’s much more prominent Inline Profile Controls. The Inline Profile Controls (which were previously relegated to Facebook’s various settings pages) enable users to choose who they share updates, photos and content with, post by post.

The privacy settings of each post can now be adjusted after posting content if you wake up one morning and decide that sharing your drunken photos with the entire web wasn’t the best idea.  

Place check-ins on Facebook have also changed from a smartphone-only activity to all-encompassing location tags that can be added to posts, photos, or updates.

Facebook intends to give users more control over photos and posts they are tagged in too.

“You can choose to use the new tool to approve or reject any photo or post you are tagged in before it's visible to anyone else on your profile,” explained Chris Cox.

Since the arrival of social networking newcomer Google+, both Facebook and Twitter appear to be ramping up their feature list in an effort to retain users and increase the amount of information their users share within the social networks.

Earlier in the week microblogging social network Twitter launched new photo sharing and user gallery features.

Hubspot, however, believes the increasing rivalry between these social networks has much more to do with user information and search share than it does with social media sharing or user numbers.

Facebook users should start to notice this latest set of changes in the coming days.

“When they reach you, you'll see a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage,” said Facebook.

While you wait for the changes to arrive you can check out the full list of Facebook settings and privacy controls that have been moved inline by visiting http://www.facebook.com/about/details/. Facebook has posted a series of videos about the changes on its YouTube page.

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