September 08th, 2011
Last week, all of a sudden, the place where I update my status on Facebook changed. Now it looks different and has other buttons, and I’m not really sure what’s going on. Can you tell me?
Of course we can, George! While at first it might appear that Facebook is just changing things for the sake of it (yet again), there are actually some really sound ideas behind the change to the status box — namely, better control over privacy and better integration of social features, like check-ins and tagging.
At first glance, the status box looks basically the same.
Once you click into the status field, though, the box expands and you can see it looks quite different.
As usual, you have a field in which to type your status. Below that, everything is different! On the left, you’ll see an icon of a person with a “+” symbol. If you click this icon, a small field will appear above it that says “Who are you with?” In that field, you can type the name of any friends you happen to be with at the time. Once you post your status, it will be appended with “ — with Name of Person.” Just to the right of that icon, you’ll see a place icon. If you click it, another small field will appear, asking “Where are you?” In that field, you can type the name of wherever you are. Once you post your status, it will be appended with “ — at Place.” If you choose to use both, your status will be appended with “— with Name of Person at Place.”
If you look to the right of both those icons, you’ll see “Public,” “Friends,” or “Custom” with an arrow next to it. This is probably the most important change. Now, with the easy click of a button (the arrow), you can choose whether to share that specific post with everyone (Public), just your friends or some unique combination thereof (Custom). Facebook will also remember your selection and use it for your next post (unless you change it again). This privacy setting is remarkably similar to Google+’s Circles, and makes selective sharing really easy.
So, there you have it! Now you’re up to speed on Facebook’s new status box. How do you like the new set up? Tell us in the comments!