Social networking powerhouses Google+ and Facebook have both taken steps to make the interaction between its users’ friends much more interesting and engaging. The updates to each interface claim to make it easier for the users to share things with one another and share updates publicly.
Google+ cleaned up its interface by allowing users to add friends to their “circles” through Gmail and Google Contacts. In Google+, circles are sorts of categories for friends, acquaintances, and family members you find throughout the social network. You can create your own circles or use the ones that Google provides for you.
Engineering director Mark Striebeck from Google said that these updates are all based on feedback from users. He said that “if you use Google+, you can now grow your circles, filter emails and contacts by circles, keep all your contact information up-to-date automatically and share photos to Google+, all right from Gmail and Contacts.” Google will be coming up with the updates within the next week.
On the other side of the trenches, Facebook added the possibility for a “Subscribe” button for company websites, allowing the visitors to subscribe to a website’s updates without entering their own Facebook accounts. “Once clicked the user will begin seeing the public posts of the person they have subscribed to in his or her News Feed,” said Stoyan Stefanov, engineer at Facebook. “The subscribe action is also shared, allowing others to subscribe directly via the News Feed stories, and further increasing viral distribution.”
The update on Facebook allows websites to integrate the “Subscribe” feature into websites using XFBML code – Facebook’s own mark-up language – or an “iframe” tag in HTML. Either way will make the feature work exactly the same.
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