Facebook revamp improves privacy options

Adopts approach used by new rival Google+
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Social networking giant Facebook has unveiled an raft of security and sharing changes which ape the per-post controls of Google's social rival Google+.

"You have told us that "who can see this?" could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward," blogged Facebook veep Chris Cox .

"The main change is moving most of your controls from a settings page to being inline, right next to the posts, photos and tags they affect."

The new feature allows Facebook users to access a pull-down menu on shared items and select who can see the post. As a result of the change Facebook's often bafflingly complex settings page has been trimmed back.

The Facebook changes are also retroactive. Cox pointed out that in the past if you posted a status update you couldn't then change who saw it. "Now you'll be able to change who can see any post after the fact," Cox said.

Facebook's new privacy controls and their similarity with the Google+ 'circles' feature didn't go unnoticed even by Facebook users. The top comment on Cox's blog is one Facebook user saying "Google plus much?" with hundreds of 'likes'.

The change will be gradually rolled out to Facebook accounts over the next few days.

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