The fight for social media dominance between giants Facebook and Google+ is getting louder and louder. Facebook is fighting back by making their list feature more prominent and Google+ is bringing it’s search expertise to Google+ (see here). When I logged onto the Google search engine home page today I even had a huge blue arrow prompting me to check my Google+ account!
Facebook Fights ‘Circles’ with ‘Lists’
You’ve probably noticed in the last week or so some Facebook updates filling you in on the ‘List’ feature. This is a quick, optional way to organize friends so you can control what you see in your News Feed and post updates to specific people. The list facility was always there in Facebook but a bit hidden away and cumbersome (something which Google+ had focused on improving).
These three new lists have been made automatically by Facebook:
Close Friends: Your best friends, who should show up more in your News Feed
Acquaintances: Friends who should show up less in News Feed.
Restricted: Friends who can only see posts and profile info you make public.
You can add your friends to these 3 lists and they will not be notifed as to which of these personal choice groupings you have put them into (phew!). Facebook has also made smart lists that update automatically based on your friends’ profile info. Smart lists may be university/college friends, colleagues, friends from the same city, family.
If you had already made some lists, they can be merged with your new ones and your lists are now available as tabs down the left hand side of your Facebook page for easy access.
The sudden prominence of this new feature is a direct attack at the circles feature added into Google+. The idea being that you can post your updates straight to the friends and family who will find them most interesting, without worrying about bothering anyone else. You can also go straight to photos and updates from the friends you care about most and skip the news from acquaintances you don’t know well.
The long period between the trial stage of Google+ and it’s completed and open version is starting to drag and people are losing interest and abandoning their Google+ accounts. It’s also giving Facebook the time to improve their offering. A recent survey found that in the last two months Google+ posts have decreased by 41%. Google+ needs to assert itself quickly to draw people over from the familiarity of Facebook.
by @1marchhare, Social Media Manager at March Hare Media
Picture by Salvatore Vuono