The guys over at Facebook have decided to bring out a major update to the Facebook experience by overhauling the way you receive and give information about your daily goings on and opinions using a new filter, stream and publishing mechanism. You can now create your own filters using your friend lists. You can also filter by applications like photos for instance. Nothing too earth shattering yet, but it gets interesting with the stream where posts by friends are now going to be updated to your profile in real time. You can control who appears in the stream. You can also add information to the stream using something termed ďPublisherĒ. The system is still technically the same only with a slicker interface and real time updates instead of having to refresh. I hope they sort out their flimsy chat application that can be finicky at the best of times. The notifications of friends coming and going onto Facebook are also in need of an overhaul, but I believe this update might address some of these issues.
South Africans may find the undoubtedly larger impact on data usage a bit daunting but time will tell how much this streaming idea might cost us in Rands and cents. The publisher will be located at the top of both your home page and your Profile page. Both locations offer the same functionalities. Typing in the Publisher text box updates your status while clicking inside the text box will reveal more options for types of content you can share including, links, pictures, videos, notes, RSS feeds and gifts from the Facebook gift shop. If you type something and then click inside the text box, that text will become a comment to whatever it is you want to share like a picture for example.
The interaction of the Publisher changes depending on whether you are on your profile or somebody elseís profile. You can add content to a friendís profile by for instance just typing text while viewing their profile, which will add a wall post. If you share pictures or videos it will create a story on their profile with a headline indicating that you have shared the information with them. The same story can then appear in the streams of other people who have access to that friendís profile depending on his or her privacy settings. There will be options for sending private information.
Privacy is the big key to some information people send around on Facebook and it looks like the settings will be well under the control of the individual users. So if you havenít done so yet, go check your settings now and do so again when this new interface kicks in.
For a demo of the interface click here. Note it requires Quiktime Player.