The following is a post from Kevin Olivieri, TIG Global Social Media Analyst.
Facebook has taken a lot of heat over the last few years (especially earlier this year) over their handling of privacy controls and user’s information. In an effort to alleviate these issues, Facebook unveiled three new products yesterday aimed at giving more control over information to its 550M+ member user base.
The three new products are:
- Download Your Information
- Apps You Use
- A collaborative ‘Groups’ product
So how will these work to improve privacy issues? Here is a brief overview of some of the basic functions you can expect to see.
Download Your Information
With the ‘Download Your Information’ product, users can request and receive (after a thorough verification process that includes your password, email and a captcha) a zipped file via email containing all the information they have loaded onto Facebook. This data provides the user with easy access to view all their information in one centralized place, including friends, photos, personal info, messages, and everything else they’ve put on Facebook. This product ensures that users are not left in the dark or left to wonder what types of information may have slipped through the cracks, or could potentially come back to haunt them. Through this system, user’s will now be able to access all their information in a condensed space and they will have the choice and empowerment to do with it what they please. This is also a helpful solution for self-proclaimed “pack rats” of information, or those who use Facebook prominently in a photo or video sharing capacity. Now such users will be provided with a handy archive of every stray photo, video or album they have ever uploaded. (Learn how to Download your Information on Facebook)
Apps You Use
The ‘Apps You Use’ product focuses on applications which access your Facebook information and how much control you’d like them to have. This one-stop dashboard lists all the applications users have given permission to access their data on Facebook, as well as when the application last used your data. Users can now change apps permissions in terms of how much of their data can be accessed, or they can simply revoke the permissions completely it is decided that they no longer wish to partake in the app’s purpose.
Arguably the biggest announcement Facebook made yesterday was regarding their newly revamped ‘Groups’ product. These user created Groups are meant to be smaller subgroups of friends in which you share, organize, communicate, and collaborate. By creating unique groups for their social circle, users have more power over who sees what they do on Facebook, as opposed to ‘Everyone’ or ‘Just my Friends.’ For example, with the new Groups, users are able to share specific content with only their close friends, as opposed to a long list of people they haven’t spoken to in years. Facebook Groups combines three main features that will provide users with greater control, the introduction of group chat, and the utilization of email lists for notifications.
The ‘Groups’ creation process is simple: Create a group – Add Friends – Start sharing. Groups will help give control to users over the distribution of their messages and personal information. All members within the groups will be admins, which empowers the entire membership within each group with the ability to control information. The members of groups will be able to share and edit documents they are working on through Facebook Doc’s (think Wiki’s) and also set up group chats. These features are all meant to help groups organize and communicate under their own guise, away from the peering eyes of estranged acquaintances.
Facebook continues to rapidly add new dimensions to their site to help users connect and share. As for now, yesterday’s announcements don’t really affect businesses on Facebook. When it comes to collaborating and building a community, businesses should first focus on building and maintaining their brand’s or destination’s image through a tailored Facebook Page before venturing into Group creations. However, I’m sure over time businesses will be able to find great value in creating segmented groups as more and more apps are built within the Facebook Groups product.
Do you think Facebook’s new tools will help to improve your privacy? What do you think might be the benefit or drawback to these new solutions? Sound off in the comments section and let us know your thoughts!
Interested in ramping up your social media strategy? TIG Global offers a full suite of interactive marketing tools to get your brand or destination noticed. Learn more about the TIG Global product offering, send us an email, or give us a call at 301-841-4700.