Over the past couple of weeks, Facebook has begun beta testing the following changes to their status update (publisher) and search functions. Here’s what you need to know to make quick smart changes to your friend and fan pages
- Publisher – A small number of users are now able to chose who they share “what’s on your mind?” updates with – all friends, a custom selection of friends or the world wide web.
- Search – new search capabilities will allow users (at present only a small percentage can do this) the ability to search the news feeds of their friends and users who allow all to read their posts, by keyword.
So what do these enhancements mean to Facebook users?
Users will be able to filter who sees their status updates. If you have possibly damning photos from a drunken night out that you want to share with your friends, you will be able to post these only to those you trust to see them and not have to share them with the world. This will hide this information from a potential employer who Googles you on the morning of that big job interview.
The new search capability also applies to “what’s on your mind?” (publisher) posts made on fan pages. This means that any information you share with your fans will be potentially available through the search function for all Facebook users to find. This increases the viral aspect of your post and the possibility of collecting more fans for your page.
The changes to the Publisher also means that any status updates, videos, photos, content etc. pushed out from a Fan Page is now searchable on the World Wide Web and not just Facebook (dare I say it – very similar to a Twitter search).
So all in all, these potential changes to Facebook are good all round. I of course understand Facebooks’ hesitation in rolling these changes out to all users without testing first, in light of previous user outbursts regarding changes made to Facebook. However, as it appears I am not lucky enough to be one of the beta testers for either of these features, I hope all goes well for Facebook and very shortly we will all be able to share in the search and publisher upgrades.