Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Facebook making privacy controls easier

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, sent an open letter to the social network's users announcing some good news both for the company and for users. He announced Facebook now has over 350 million users. To put that into perspective, the Facebook population is larger than those of all of the countries in the except China and India.

The other, and arguably more intriguing, bit of information from Zuckerberg was the announcement of updates to Facebook privacy settings:

"The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.

We're adding something that many of you have asked for — the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload." (emphasis added)

Make good privacy choices
This is an important change because it will provide individuals a way to have better control and hopefully filter their postings for appropriateness. Perhaps this is Facebook's way of letting users help themselves and making good choices online. I especially liked how Zuckerberg leads users down the path of choosing privacy settings:

"...the best way for you to find the right settings is to read through all your options and customize them for yourself. I encourage you to do this and consider who you're sharing with online." (emphasis added)

If you're a Facebook user, will this change be helpful to you? Do you think people will take the time to update their privacy settings? The comments are yours.