Coming Soon Features on Facebook

Posted on: January 11, 2008

Here’s a quick look at some important Facebook updates that are expected to launch in 1Q 08:

1) Friend Lists Privacy Controls

A few weeks ago, Facebook took the first step toward enabling more efficient friend management with the release of Friend Lists. However, as was noted at the time, the killer feature of Friend Lists — Privacy Controls — was nowhere to be found. The good news is Facebook is working on this, and will allow users to control visibility for their profile, photos, and apps using Friend Lists soon.

2) Facebook in New Languages

It has been known for a while that Facebook is working on translating the site into a few new key languages. However, beyond this initial step, Facebook is planning an aggressive “crowdsourcing” approach to translate the site into dozens (if not hundreds) of languages around the world by harnessing the collective volunteer power of its user base. Soon, Facebook will launch a “Translations” app (which we saw briefly a couple weeks ago) whereby users can enter translations for every Facebook menu, button, and copy item. (To all Facebook users in Turkey: Facebook will be available in Turkish soon!!)

3) Blasting Messages to Groups With More Than 1,000 Members

Facebook marketers have been banging their head on the wall for a long time because of Facebook’s cap on the size of groups you’re allowed to blast messages to. This has caused many to migrate their group members to Pages, or even other websites, in order to enjoy more robust group communication tools. However, Facebook will soon be removing this ceiling, meaning Groups will become a more viable option for many grassroots marketers and large communities.

Coverage On venturebeat

facebookworld0110082.pngA set of useful Facebook updates are slated to launch soon, including versions of the site in other languages, a way to send messages to large groups, as well as tools for controlling what friends get to see about you.

Facebook is asking “translators all over the world to translate Facebook into different languages,” as its new Translations application describes its purpose. “Join our community of translators and make Facebook available to everyone, everywhere, in all languages.” (The app’s bolding, not mine.)

This is a very clever way for Facebook to get all its language translating done through its users — for free, I assume. The app is in limited beta, and we haven’t had a chance to look at it first hand. Apparently, though, there’s a sort of group translation process, where app users submit translations for different parts of the site, then other app users vote to approve those translations. Mashable got an early look last month, see its write-up for more details.

A couple of other features will soon be released, as well, according to Inside Facebook’s Justin Smith.

Administrators of Facebook groups with more than 1,000 members will be able to send a message to all of those people at once. Previously, Facebook limited the number of people you could message to 1,000.

Facebook will also add privacy controls to its “friends lists” feature, that it introduced last month. Basically, the feature lets you manually create lists of friends, then see things like activity updates for each list. However, it launched without privacy controls for blocking lists — say, your coworkers — from seeing specific things about you, like your Facebook album photos. Soon, according to Smith, you will be able to control visibility of your profile, photos, and apps for your lists.


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