Want a chance to squash Zynga game bugs before they piss you off for real? The creator of CityVille has started the Zynga Games Research program in which the developer will enlist you, the players, to test its games before they're released. Well, before the new games are released in open beta.
The developer is blasting the opportunity out to its many Facebook games' fan pages, offering players to take a short survey that will qualify them to take part in the testing program. Of course, Zynga is offering rewards for your time spent providing feedback to the company's various game creation teams across play-testing, interviews and--yes, unfortunately--more surveys.
Google+ implemented a number of changes that give the social network more parity with some of Facebook's products. The most prominent new feature is the ability to control how much content from each Circle is shown in a user's stream, similar to what Facebook allows users to do for individual friends.
Relevance in the feed is one of the most critical factors for any network and will be especially important in the ongoing competition between Facebook and Google. Facebook has gone back and forth over the years, sometimes giving users granular control, other times favoring algorithms. Google is known for its use of algorithms, but seems to be testing human curation potential with its new sliders.
In 2007, Facebook provided sliders for users to indicate the type of content they wanted to see in the News Feed. Users could also list friends they wanted to see more or fewer updates from. Now Facebook provides controls on individual profile pages, giving users the option to subscribe to or opt-out of different types of updates. Here is the old interface:
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