Facebook Forces and Google Allows

I was browsing my Facebook and saw an article I was interested in reading because I’ve been splitting my allegiance between Apple and Android.

Facebook Image

my interest is engaged and I’m taken –

Facebook Timeline Info

I’m unsure about connecting with the new Timeline, and the idea of being that public about what I’m doing concerns me so I click on Learn More about Timeline. I watch the video, and am sure I don’t want to start a Timeline. So I go to Google.

I could have gone straight to the article by clicking the bottom link, but I clicked the top, and got

The Guardian android pageand scrolled down to find, near the botto, middle

The Guardian Android page 2

what I was looking for –

The Guardian - article on Androidwhich was actually too geeky for me.

However, what I learned was that I could find something interesting on my Facebook account, and that Facebook would use it to shove me into a new aspect of Facebook. I checked out Timeline, as Facebook allowed, and decided not to go there. I still wanted to read the article so I problem-solved by going to Google, which showed me two paths for getting where I wanted to go, the two-step from the top link, and a direct path if I read down a little.

I don’t like being pushed; I like finding my own way.

3 thoughts on “Facebook Forces and Google Allows

  1. I really wonder how long it is before Google starts doing the same thing, considering how “subtle” they were about the advertising for Google+ this week (http://www.businessinsider.com/google-is-running-a-massive-ad-for-google-on-its-home-page-2011-9).

    I have been playing with all the new Facebook features that were announced at f8 for a couple of days and I must say they are very well though out and provide excellent privacy control. Yes, privacy always used to be a little tough to figure out on Facebook, but they’ve really added some great features recently. Let me just comment on what you experience with the new Guardian app.

    Firstly, when you are prompted to add one of the new apps, you can select the visibility of all your actions in the app. Click Custom, and you can select “Only me” 😉 Another great thing about the new apps is that they show you in advance how the content that will be published will look like on your page. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, it’s easy to spot it right away and I think News apps will get smart and redirect you to their website if you refuse to install their FB app (though I do think most people will choose the app, which is brilliant by the way and is great for discovering new content).

    Secondly, once you start using the app, you always have the choice to remove items from your timeline right within the apps itself. So if you don’t want a title to appear in the Ticker (items don’t automatically appear in the News Feed unless you specify you want them too), it’s just one click. But you don’t really need that if you’re sharing what you’re reading with the right people (your friends). Actually, on the news story you saw, I decided to publicly Recommend it to everyone, sharing that information beyond the privacy setting I have for the app.

    So, I hope that encourages you to try out the Guardian app and the new concept of social reading. I’m an introvert too and I’m loving it 😉

    Now, the other point is the Timeline, which is actually a separate product (what you saw was an example of the new Open Graph capabilities). The Timeline is just the new shape all Facebook profiles will take in a couple of months. For now, you have to be a developer to be able to try it out, and non-developers will start seeing people’s Timelines after next Friday.

    Having already spent hours and hours organizing my Timeline (way more time than I should have!), I can say this is going to be big for Facebook, and enable us to experience ourselves and our friends in a completely new way. It’s definitely far more engaging than current profiles, and the main thing it does is providing easier access to your older content.

    But the strongest point is that you keep all your privacy settings in the process. And it’s super easy to hide anything you want from the Timeline. Your friends won’t have easy access to all your activity like they do now, you’re put in control, and I can tell you it’s a lot of fun to use the product.

    In comparison, Google looks like an ancient library filled with dust, no librarian to guide you around, and no friends to chat with. Sure you can find your own way around and have everything at your fingertips, but there really isn’t much going on.

    Sure, there will be again tradeoffs to be made in the new direction Facebook is taking, but I think the end results are worth it. Not everyone will like it, of course, so the choice of opting-out will always be a valid one. However, if you can find value is social reading, watching, and listening, Facebook is certainly building the right ecosystem for that.

  2. I always learn from you, Alija. Thanks for your on-going inspiration. I will be trying out some of your suggestions over the next few days.

  3. Yes, I must say Facebook is getting pretty interesting right now. On top of what you have pointed out here, they rolled out two major changes this week and could care less what we think about it. I can tell you right now Facebook wants to be the next Google. I do have issues with Google, too, but I still agree with you, Facebook pushing you to do something is very concerning. It will be interesting to see what they do next because I believe these guys are just getting started. Dont know if that’s a good or bad thing yet. But these abrupt changes that were made this week and what you just pointed out bother me.


Leave a Reply