Google might be more progressive than Facebook. At least where gender identification is concerned. You see, Google Plus let users choose male, female, or "other" since the beginning. Facebook is just catching up - but this social network is taking gender identification options to a whole new level.
The New Facebook Profile Selections
The Facebook team has been working with gay and transgender advocacy groups to come up with multiple gender options for Facebook users. The days of being just 'male' or 'female' are long over. Today's Facebook user can choose a number of different things including "fluid." This option is an important decision for Facebook, and it allows Facebook users to express themselves accurately, though Facebook is also providing those people with the option to keep gender choice private.
Some Facebook users may want to express gender identity with a group of close Facebook friends, but those users may not necessarily wish to show the world what that choice is. So, Facebook now makes it possible to add privacy options to any gender choice. This is a big move for Facebook, and it's also a move that will gain the failing social network some new users, hopefully.
Important But Grabbing At Straws
The fact is that Facebook's numbers are falling. People are tired of seeing baby pictures and status updates that do little more than brag. So, former Facebook users are now checking out other social networking sites like Google Plus or LinkedIn - not to mention Instagram. These sites aren't made of the same material as Facebook, and that can be a good thing.
By working with various groups to make Facebook a friendly place for any gender, the company is hoping to gain in popularity. Will it work? There's no doubt that the new options make Facebook a happier place, but it's not entirely clear whether or not more people will start using Facebook just because the social network has tried to remain gender friendly. Still, it's nice to see a network of this size taking the initiative, right?
The Most Progressive
So far, Facebook's new gender options are more progressive than any other social network's, including Google Plus. So, Facebook has one-upped the Google Plus network. Here's an interesting fact, too: Facebook is now targeting ads according to the gender of users, so the company will certainly be gathering gender preferences as marketing material.
It's marketing, it's public relations, and it's a way to get new users to check out the social network - but it's also a step in the right direction. Facebook is recognizing that people don't necessarily fit into two different boxes. That, in fact, there are more boxes that a person can be dropped into. One has to wonder, though, if this move will save the social network from certain destruction.
What do you think of Facebook's new gender options? Is this something that will get you to use the network if you haven't before? Let me know what you think!