Nick O'Neill from AllFacebook.com reported on a game-changing move from Facebook yesterday with his post Facebook Launches New Granular Publisher Controls, Transforms Personal Publishing. In short, Facebook released a beta version of a publisher (the field where you type in your status updates) that will allow users to make their updates public beyond their own social graph. Sounds a lot like Twitter right? However, Facebook let's you stay in control of who sees your status update by letting users choose between the privacy settings "everyone," "friends and networks," friends of friends," "friends," and "custom" which is your friends list. Have a status update you only want your college friends to see and not your colleagues? You'll soon be able to dictate that! As Nick points out in his post, Twitter only differentiates Tweets by "public" or "private" and it's an all - or - nothing deal for your account. Facebook is making rapid-fire and aggressive moves recently. This beta release paired with the up-and-coming search of status updates (which Nick also wrote about here) should have Twitter more than a little nervous.
What does this mean for you as a marketer? In the near future, you'll be able to search public status updates of keywords related to your brand very similar to search.twitter.com. In the same way that the search function was monumental to Twitter's success, marketers will now be able to monitor what people are saying about their brand with a user base of over 275 million people on Facebook! However, Facebook doesn't allow you to directly communicate with Facebook users as the brand, only as yourself representing the brand. Thus this blurs personal and professional lines even more within Facebook. This also means that your friends who are clients (which happens a lot in the social media blur of work and personal life), you'll be able to cater status updates specific to your audience so-to-speak within your personal social graph.
The possibilities that this opens up are endless. Do you have any other implications that this means that you'd like to share?? Let us know!