Facebook's Recent Updates

I haven't wrote about Facebook in quite a while, mainly because I don't like it.However, it appears they have been doing some pretty awesome changes lately, so they deserve a mention. First of all, I'd like to point out recent news states that Facebook Connect is now on over 1 Million sites, which is very impressive, and well on the way to taking over the entire web. I'll describe the other updates in more detail below

1. New Groups

Personally, I think Facebook Groups are one of the worst thing to plague the internet, only trumped by the idiots that make them. Seriously, they are quite awful, pointless, and noone actually cares.On the other hand, this new Group system seems very well thought out. Now you need an invite to Join a group, and it can be customized the way you want, for only a select group of people. The feature that stands out the most in my eyes, is the Docs addon for groups. I don't know about you, but this really looks like the same sort of way Google Wave worked? It shows a timeline of how the “Doc” progressed as people add to it, which seems like a very useful feature. As far as privacy goes, you can fully customize how you interact with a group, including Chat, Email notifications and what content is available to who, if you're an admin.

3. Social Captchas

This hasn't been confirmed, but it looks like Facebook are going to be implementing Social Captures in the near future. What are these, I hear you ask? Well, as far as I can tell, they are captchas where you answer a question about one of your friends, rather than type in letters or words. For Example, they would display a picture of a friend, then ask when their Birthday is, or to name one of their interests. Or even as simple as just their name. This could help out a lot, as to be honest, I am sick of deciphering horrible tangled words that look like a baby wrote them, only to have have my computer shout at me for typing it wrong.

2. Data Export

This has to be one of my favourite features that I'm looking forward to, I can now export all of my data to a zip file which I can store on my PC. This means I own the data, not Facebook. Over the last few months, people have been getting at Facebook about their privacy problems, with good cause, however now I think they have finally come to their senses and realised they need trust from their users. The only concern I have is, what if someone else somehow gets access to my account, what is stopping them from downloading all of my data? Hopefully they have taken this into account.

If you have any questions about this post, or anything else, you can get in touch on Twitter or browse my code on Github.