Facebook Testing Friend Confirmations That Emphasize SMS And News Feed

This afternoon Facebook updated some users’ friend confirmations to include two check boxes. One asks you to select whether or not you’d like to have that user’s info displayed in your news feed and the other asks if you’d like to receive SMS messages. It’s a subtle change but what’s becoming increasingly clear is Facebook is trying to streamline the communication process after integrating all of Twitter’s functionality within their site.

Today’s latest move was to include privacy options with all items posted from the Facebook publisher. Interestingly enough, a lot of their other services do not yet have this functionality included. Just a couple of hours ago Facebook launched the live stream but status updates within that widget do not have similar privacy options.

It’s challenging for the company to make constant changes to its product while simultaneously streamlining communication. Once completed with their Twitter-like integration, Facebook will most likely begin focusing more heavily on simplifying things rather than making them more complicated. It has most definitely been an evolution though. The company has gone through several iterations over the past few months with much of it due to Twitter’s continued growth.

One of the new settings appears to conflict with Facebook’s focus on letting users manage their news feed through friend lists. Then again, many users were getting overwhelmed with the number of updates they were receiving. I’d argue that most users don’t want so much control. Instead, they’d prefer that Facebook automate the feed filtering process, discovering only that information which is most important to them.

According to Eric Eldon of Venturebeat, Facebook may be emphasizing highlights even more in a redesigned news feed that they’ll release in the near future. One thing is definitely clear: Facebook has not perfected the system for managing contacts, there are still changes that need to be made.

Thanks to Jim Burnell for the tip.

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