The 8 Most Important Facebook Features In 2010

Facebook had a banner year in 2010, which included crossing the 500 million member mark. Here's a look at the ten most significant features and upgrades the social network made over the past 12 months.

Facebook has dominated news headlines over the past year, especially when the social network reached the 500 million user mark this July.

As the site continues to expand its reach, so grows interest in the social network’s new features and upgrades. Here are the eight most significant ones that Facebook announced in 2010 — in a somewhat chronological order.

Facebook Credits: This digital currency entered beta testing at the beginning of the year, although some had access to alpha versions at the tail end of 2009.

Privacy controls for applications: In February this upgrade to the privacy settings gave users control over each piece of content shared through apps on Facebook.

Social plugins: Facebook extended its reach with tools websites could add to tap the social graph, including “likes.” The widgets debuted in April and spread like wildfire.

Places: The geolocation service debuted in August has since become available on most types of smartphones and helps make the new Deals feature more personalized.

Groups: This feature got some improved visuals and expanded into document sharing and chat early in October.

High-resolution photos: Around the middle of October, Facebook enabled downloads of high-resolution versions of photos uploaded to the site.

Messages: Several forms of digital communication are coming together in Facebook’s new messaging platform announced last month.

New profile layout: Earlier this month, Facebook revamped its profile layout to give more prominence to recently tagged photos.

Readers, what do you think of this Facebook list? Do you agree or disagree with the features and upgrades chosen as most significant for the year?