Some day we’ll be telling future generations that the only actions we could take on Facebook were Liking and Poking. Facebook is rolling out a new update that acknowledges you’re a multi-dimensional person, engaging in a multitude of activities you want to share with others.
What’s New with Facebook
With Facebook’s latest update that’s beginning to roll out to users, you can share what more of what you’re doing. You can share your favorite books, TV shows, movies, music, food, drinks, and other interests in your status updates. Your status updates can be more informative and helpful to your friends who want to learn more about what you’re doing (though there is still no Dislike button).
Sharing Your Activities
When you enter a status update, you now have choices of what activities you can include. Click the Happy Face icon in your status update to reveal your choices.
This will show you the activities you can add:
When you click on your activity choice, Facebook will suggest items for you, such as titles of books, TV shows, etc. For feelings you can choose from Emoticons:
When you update your status with a suggested activity, you will be linking to that suggested activity’s Facebook page. For example, if you’re eating popcorn, your status update will link to popcorn’s Facebook page (did you even know that popcorn had a Facebook page?).
Sharing Your Interests
You can also share your interests from your new About page that replaces your Profile page. That’s right, this update gives you a new Facebook About page that’s all about You.
Go into your Timeline and click on the About tab in the menu at the top of the page. In your About page, you can see sections for movies, TV shows, books, and music, in addition to the traditional profile information such as photos, places, jobs, relationships, schools, etc.
Your interests shared from your About page and from your status updates are displayed in these new sections so you can share this information with your friends more easily.
More About Your About Page
Sharing your interests on your About page is an easy way to add your favorite books, movies, music etc. For example, you can enter the books you’ve read, along with the books you want to read and those whose Facebook pages you Like. You can add books then Like and comment on each one.
All of this information can help others find you through Facebook’s new search feature, called Open Graph Search. Shocked at the last episode of Mad Men? Search for your friends who Like the show. Just finished reading Lean In and want to see what others think? Search for your friends who have read the book or who Like it. You can even refine your search results to by age, gender, current city, etc.
Note that this ability to search for your friends can be especially useful in a crisis such as the bombing in Boston or the earthquake in Iran earlier this week. You can check in on friends near and far to see if they’re safe. Facebook may even be able to update you more quickly and reliably than using email or the phone. See, TechCrunch, How To Use Facebook To Check On Boston Friends Without Taxing Phone Lines.
Facebook’s Open Graph Search capabilities are still somewhat limited. For example, you can’t yet search for friends who are feeling sad or are drinking chocolate milk, but that is a likely expansion of Open Graph Search in the future.
The more information you add, the more you can share your experiences with others. But if you want to keep your interests from being shared or viewed by others, you can hide an item or a section by clicking on the pencil icon to edit your privacy settings. Be careful though. If you really don’t want something to be viewed, you should probably keep it off of Facebook.
The activities and interests you share will also help Facebook display ads that are more relevant to you. If you’re annoyed by random ads that have nothing to do with you, you’re probably more receptive to these updates than someone who finds targeted ads creepy.
What do you think of Facebook’s latest updates? Take today’s Wonder of Tech poll:
Have you shared your interests and activities using Facebook’s latest updates? Have you searched for others’ interests and activities? Do you have access to the new updates yet? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Facebook Home is now rolling out to countries outside the US. If you have a compatible Android phone, you may now be able to update to Facebook Home from your country’s Google Play Store. Check Google Play if you want to try out Facebook Home on your phone.