Facebook have been on a roll lately, bringing out a wide range of new features, in its never-ending quest to vanquish Google Plus and Twitter, and emerge as the one true Force in the galaxy, when it comes to social networking. Since you are probably here on the Nowsourcing site due to your interest in social media, you are also probably on Facebook, so let’s take a look at the new features and decide how useful they will be to you in your day-to-day Facebooking.
This has been out for a while but it seems to have slipped through the cracks when reporting it here on Nowsourcing (so better late than never, eh?). Threaded replies are currently only available on fan pages, not normal profiles, but as with everything on the Facebook site, this will become site-wide before you know it.
Threaded replies are when you can reply to someone directly underneath their comment, so they know that your reply is meant for them personally. They (or someone else) can then reply underneath you, and so forth….basically a conversation within a conversation. Threaded conversations were made popular and commonplace with Gmail, and other sites swiftly followed suit. So it was only a matter of time before Facebook picked up the slack.
I like to use threaded replies as much as I can on my dog’s fan page, but sometimes, because you’re not used to threaded replies, it can be very easy to forget about them and stick your replies at the bottom as a new comment. But when I remember to use them, it makes conversations extremely neat and tidy, and easier to follow. What would make it easier to remember threaded replies would be to make the “reply” button a bit more prominent. Right now, it’s a tiny link right next to the “like” link.
Replies With Images
This one provoked mixed feelings when I heard about it. On the one hand, it might prove amusing for the creation of new memes, plus if you are trying to explain something, it is much easier if you can post a photo of it. On the other hand, being able to post images as comments has the potential to get really irritating really fast. I suppose it depends on what kind of Facebook friends you have and if they are likely to either use or abuse this feature.
To use the feature, just click the camera icon in the corner of the comment box. This will open up your PC folders where you can choose an image stored on your hard drive. It will then be uploaded to the Facebook servers and automatically inserted into the comment box for you.
This one is the total opposite of threaded replies – replying with an image is currently only available on normal profile pages, not fan pages. But again, it probably won’t be long before this rolls out site-wide, if Facebook judges it a success.
What would make this feature even better would be the ability to take pictures with your webcam, using the camera icon. This way, you could instantly react to status updates with a photo of yourself making a face, or doing a thumbs up / down. But right now, you’re restricted to what’s on your computer.
When I heard about hashtags being introduced on Facebook, I groaned to myself. Hashtags were first made popular by Facebook’s Arch-Nemesis, Twitter, and on the surface, it looks like a good idea. Tag words with a hashtag and make that word easily searchable for others. But what has made hashtags rather unpopular for some people (including me) is that a lot of people totally overdo it. Every second or third word is a hashtag, and some even make absurdly long hashtags that #noonewilleversearchforinamillionyears .
Used sparingly, hashtags can be a useful search and social media tool. Used too much, it can be a motive for homicide. I’m just waiting for the #Hashtag Killer to make his #debut.