April 23, 2010, 3:45 PM — Facebook is about to get a lot more personal and dig deeper into you and your friends' likes, dislikes, and what you do online. This week at a Facebook developers conference called F8, the company pulled the curtain back on some very cool and soon to be available features.
What follows is an overview of what those new features are and how these features will impact your privacy. First, I'll start with five new Facebook features debuted this week.
Five New Facebook Features
Social bar plugin: This is a persistent bar similar to what you see at the bottom of your Facebook page right now. The bar sits at the bottom of the Webpage you are visiting, and includes Facebook features such as Facebook chat. This feature has not been released yet.
Like buttons: There are two types of Like buttons that are very similar to each other, but handle different items you'll come across online. Actual 'Like' buttons are meant for real-world items such as your favorite sports team or movie, while 'Recommend' buttons are for Web content such as news articles and videos on news sites.
Whenever you visit a site such as CNN you will start to see 'Recommend' buttons next to videos and articles listing how many Facebook users have recommended the item you are viewing. If you are logged in to Facebook you will also be able to see if any of your friends have recommended that news item, and then recommend the article yourself if you want to. Whenever you recommend something on CNN or other sites with a recommend button, a notification will be sent to your Facebook newsfeed that includes a link back to the CNN article.
The 'like' button works similarly to the 'recommend' button. But whenever you 'like' an item such as your favorite sports team or movie, the like not only appears in your newsfeed but also gets placed in your 'Likes and Interests' section under the 'Info' tab of your Facebook profile.
Recommendation plugin: Not to be confused with the 'Recommend' button, this browser plugin shows you a box with the top 'likes' on the site from all Facebook users as well as recommendations and likes from your Facebook friends. You must be logged in to Facebook to see recommendations from your friend.
Activity stream plugin: Similar to the recommendations plugin, when you are logged in to Facebook and visit a site with the activity stream plugin, a mini-Facebook Newsfeed will appear showing you all the recommendations and likes your friends have taken on the site. If you are logged in to Facebook, and you can see an example of the activity stream plugin on CNN.com.