On Tuesday night, Google opened up access to its social network, Google+. The network first launched last June on an invite-only basis, allowing the more advanced tech-minded users to help trouble shoot and work out the kinks.
The biggest advantage Google+ had over the No. 1 social network, Facebook, is the Hangouts feature. Users are able to use video to interact with their friends face-to-face. The feature works with both PCs and phones. (Sorry, iOS users, this feature is only available on Android 2.3+ devices with a front-facing camera, according to the Google blog.)
Then in July, Facebook launched a partnership with Skype, allowing users the ability to chat face-to-face with their friends.
That brings us to this week: To not be outdone by Google+ again, Facebook launched a newly organized look to users homepages, two days ahead of the f8 developer conference.
The most notable change is to the newsfeed.
Before, new posts displayed in chronological order. Facebook now groups posts as top stories, what they think you will find most interesting.
According to Facebook, the rationale behind the new layout matches how newspapers display their content. So if you check Facebook once a week, you may be interested in just a summary of top photos and statuses posted. Or, if you check in several times a day, you will get the news stories that are most recent. Making it "easier to keep up with the people in your life no matter how frequently or infrequently you're on Facebook."
If you don't agree with the choices Facebook makes for you, there is a blue triangle in the top-left corner of the story, click it to remove and it will no longer appear as a top story. To turn a normal post into a top story, just click the blue corner tab. This feature helps Facebook learn what you are most interested in, and personalize the feed to what best fits you.
Another new feature is lists. The lists are located on the left of your newsfeed and is meant for users to "automatically update themselves with coworkers, classmates, local friends and family members based on your friends' profile info."
And the third big feature is the real-time ticker located on the top right of your newsfeed. The ticker will display your most recent posts, photo uploads, comments, and friend activity.
What do you think of the changes Facebook has made? Like or unlike? Will you stick with Facebook or start eying Google+?