Facebook responds to Google+ with updated privacy settings

Tina Nguyen Contributor
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Anyone on Facebook — even people who aren’t your friends — can now tag you in posts and photos.

Those tags, however, won’t go public unless you approve them.  Users will no longer have to beg their friends to refrain from tagging them in embarrassing Facebook photos: they can now un-tag themselves before they, or the post, ends up on their profile.

The social media company announced yesterday that it was significantly altering its privacy settings, giving users a way to manage their online identity.

Perhaps to address the constant concerns about who can see information, some of these changes appear to be similar to those of Google+. For instance, a new feature called “inline audience selector” allows users to select who can view their posts before it goes public. Much like the “circles” feature in Google’s social network, you can share information with friends, a subset of friends, or everyone on the Internet.

Though these privacy features had been available on Facebook for years, users had to go to a separate menu in order to make changes. Placing these new settings directly on the home page will make it easier for people to share their posts or photos with the people they want to share it with, instantaneously.

In addition, Facebook users will be able to see how others view their profiles with a tool on the top of the homepage. Previously, the feature was buried on an obscure privacy page.

Other new features in the update, which will go live Thursday, include a “location” option that replaces the old “Places” app.