Facebook Launches New Groups, Refreshed Interface, Download Your Facebook Data Feature & Application Dashboard

Facebook held a special event at their headquarters in Palo Alto, CA today where they announced three significant new features (as well as an interface update) to enhance your Facebooking experience.


1. Facebook Groups

The allegedly $6.9B+ worth Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to discuss the biggest problem in social networking. The problem, as TechCrunch points out, is that of social sharing. In order to share certain items (think: links, photos, notes etc) with certain people, you have to painstakingly add each and every person in lists which Zuckerberg states only five percent of people on Facebook ever used. The process was just too long and tedious for the average Joe to go through.

So what is the solution to this issue? Overhaul Facebook Groups, o’ course! You start a group, add a few people to the group (like, say, members of a class working on some project) and then the people you add can add others. The default setting for Groups is closed so only members can see what’s happening inside. Members can share links, photos, videos, events, group chat and hence collaborate in an organized way.

I can definitely see myself using this. Friends Lists will still exist but Facebook expects people to use Groups from now on to better handle how they share things.

From Facebook’s Official Blog:

Today we’re announcing a completely overhauled, brand new version of Groups. It’s a simple way to stay up to date with small groups of your friends and to share things with only them in a private space. The default setting is Closed, which means only members see what’s going on in a group.

From this space, you can quickly post photos, make plans and keep up with ongoing conversations. You can also group chat with members who are online right now. You can even use each group as an email list to quickly share things when you’re not on Facebook. The net effect is your whole experience is organized around spaces of the people you care most about.

2. Download All Your Facebook Information

The 2nd new feature announced today is the ability to download all your Facebook data. This not only includes your profile settings but also all your messages, wall posts, updates and photos into one .zip file.

We’ve built an easy way to quickly download to your computer everything you’ve ever posted on Facebook and all your correspondences with friends: your messages, Wall posts, photos, status updates and profile information.

It will be a one-click process and the feature will be rolling out to users today.

3. All-new Application Dashboard

Last but certainly not least is the all new Applications dashboard. From this dashboard, which can be accessed from your privacy settings, you will be able to manage and control how Applications use your data to customize and enhance your Facebook experience.

We’re launching a new dashboard to give you visibility into how applications use your data to personalize your experience. As you start having more social and personalized experiences across the web, it’s important that you can verify exactly how other sites are using your information to make your experience better.

And all of these new features will come tastefully wrapped in an interface update. The new UI is visible in the videos embedded above and from what I can tell, it’s a rather minor refresh that won’t drastically change how we use Facebook. Changes included an updated sharer (the What’s In Your Mind? box) and the sidebar.

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