Microsoft showed off a new Friends app for its next-gen Xbox One video game console today, revealing an all-new feed of real-time status updates linked to enhanced privacy controls and an intriguing ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ system.
Similar to major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+, the home screen of the Friends app will display a real-time overview of what other players up to, broken down into pithy status updates.
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These posts are tied to gamers’ profile pages, which now show a full-screen gamerpic and information related to their reputation level, gamerscore and friends list. Players will also be able to change their gamertag, color and privacy level, among other settings, from this part of the app.
Scrolling to the right reveals their recent activity and uploaded game clips. Following another user adds them to the player’s friends list and feed, no questions asked; the recipient will receive a notification, but unlike the Xbox 360 setup, it’s not necessary for the recipient to add them back.
This is where the difference between friends and followers lies: Players can add multiple people to their friend list and become a ‘follower’, but the recipient doesn’t have to reciprocate. This should rectify the problem of maxed-out friends lists and also encourage players to interact with a wider array of players within the Xbox One community.
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