There will be extensive discussion and debate today about whether the broad and welcome array of new privacy, tagging and sharing controls on Facebook are or aren’t a response to Google+.
I directly asked Facebook that question and was told that the new features have nothing to do with Google+ and have been in the works for months, as a response to user feedback.
Indeed, if there’s a consistent issue on which Facebook is repeatedly criticized it’s privacy and user control over content sharing. And this has been one of the two main advantages of Google+: explicit inline privacy and sharing controls and easy group creation and management. Facebook isn’t yet addressing the latter but with the new tools it’s directly taking on Google+’s privacy and sharing advantages.