Facebook the Social Networking platform have announced new ways to control what you share on Facebook. The changes have been announced after feedback from the Facebook community from their recent product launches.
When Facebook started up, many of the features users interact with today weren’t available. The founder Mark Zuckerberg believes that Facebook needs to address how people share their information with the community and give more control over privacy – something which the internet community has recently been highlighting. Zuckerberg believes that when “users control what they share, they’re comfortable sharing more… the world becomes more open and connected”.
Privacy has been a major concern for Facebook and over a year ago they started work on how privacy and sharing could be controlled without affecting users’ experience. Yesterday, Facebook announced that they’ve made control simple. Previously, accessing and updating your security hasn’t been all that easy to do. Users would find themselves bombarded with many privacy options, which could be very confusing at times.
Three new privacy features will be rolled out over the following weeks to address the situation.
First, there is now one simple master control that you can configure how you share your content. In one click, you can set all of your content to everyone, friends of friends or just your friends. There is no need to go through multiple settings like before. All content posted in future will have the same share settings applied. Granular controls are still available should you wish to specify exactly who sees the content.
Second, there is a reduction in the amount of basic directory information users have to show in order to use Facebook. Your friends and pages no longer have to be open to everyone. You can set the fields to be visible to whoever you want.
Third, it is now simpler to control which applications and websites can access your information. It is also now possible to complete shut-off applications should you wish to remain anonymous to third-parties. Instant personalisation has also been simplified for content shown through Facebook’s partner sites.
It appears as though Facebook has listened to the concerns of users and is now acting on it. However this news comes after 400 million users had no idea of April’s change to privacy settings, which allowed personal data to be shared with non-Facebook sites! Could this be a move to quell the privacy fury? April’s event even saw Facebook users explain to friends how to disable the new and intrusive function, before Facebook officially announced the changes.
Facebook’s popularity has been levelling off over the last year and this action might help regain trust in some users who fear their updates could be seen by strangers, or their details targeted by businesses. It’s a tough balance for Facebook to achieve. On one hand users are the lifeblood of their organisation but without businesses paying for targeted adverts, or making interactive applications to create brand awareness, the community and Facebook’s business model could collapse.