Facebook is feeling the pressure from other social media
behemoths such as Twitter and Google+, but its latest innovations are not
reactions to popular features from other services according to its head of engineering
Last week Facebook rolled out a service which will allow
users to subscribe to people and follow their activity without becoming a
fully-fledged friend of theirs – similar to the way people follow others in
Twitter you could say.
Zuckerberg’s network also rolled out a new way of organising your friends’ lists via the new subscribe button with is seen as a
direct admission that the Circles feature in Google+ is the way forward.
However, despite this seemingly copycat behaviour, as Andrew
Bosworth, the head of engineering at Facebook, pointed out that it wasn’t as if
Facebook just dreamed up these new additions in the last couple of weeks.
“People, especially with Google+, have been saying,
‘did you launch that in response to that?’ and it’s fun to tell that story – from
the outside it looks like a cause-and-effect – but the timelines are a little
bit longer than that unfortunately,” he told the Guardian.
The subscriptions feature has been knocking around at Facebook towers for as long as two
years and had been in development for the last two months according to Bosworth.
However despite the new features, the engineer admitted he felt as if the site
was not moving quick enough for his liking.
“We are constantly feeling the pressure. We constantly
feel like we’re moving too slowly. You can get lots of engineers, but do they
dilute the culture? Do they understand the culture? Do they help push you
forward? You want every team to be one man short, because that way everyone is
at 100 per cent.”
The Facebook Developer conference, f8 will be taking place later this week and should provide some insights into
where the social network will be moving in the next couple of years – and we’ll
have all the latest from California for you as it happens.
For now, let us know in the comments what you think of the
new Facebook features.