New Facebook Features Give Users Privacy Control

How seen do you wanna be?

To help its over 200 million users better manage their personal and professional lives — which increasingly intersect on its website — Facebook is testing new privacy controls.

The tools enable users to decide which groups or people are able to see respective photos, videos and text-based updates posted on their profiles. In addition to hiding casual photos from colleagues, the controls can also, for example, enable families to discuss a surprise birthday party without the birthday girl seeing, according to The New York Times.

“Our overall philosophy is that people should be as open or as closed as they want to be,” stated Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly on a conference call with reporters yesterday.

The features are being tested on a limited number of users, but Facebook ultimately plans to unroll them across its entire network. Once implemented, they will also help Facebook better manage its privacy settings, which have grown unwieldy: they comprise over six pages and 40 different options. Following the launch of these revised settings, the privacy section will be condensed to one page.

“When tools are simple, people are more likely to use them,” explained Kelly. “If there are too many options, users are not fully appreciating what they are sharing with whom.”

Earlier this year, in another effort to simplify its offering, Facebook changed its Terms of Service to include a clause that grants the site ownership of any data a user uploads, whether or not it is later removed. The resulting media/user tempest stimulated a response from founder Mark Zuckerberg, who ultimately decided to let users create a crowdsourced TOS.

On the advertiser side, Facebook recently launched hybrid engagement ads and real-time search terracing features.

Source: MarketingVox


About this entry