Facebook’s Privacy Controls
Proactive changes Facebook made earlier this week provide users with better access to controlling their privacy settings on the largest social media site. Changes came as a result of intense criticism for previous privacy practices. Increasingly, users emphasize online privacy and security as a top priority. It is evident that too many people feel as though they have to restrict themselves from sharing online.
Facebook’s strategic move to change the way privacy is controlled also seems to be initiated by the success of Google+, a social platform released earlier this summer. One of the main reasons accredited to Google’s massive success is the integrated privacy control. A circle is a feature asking users to codify friends into categories. Just like the new Facebook privacy controls, Circles is intended to restrict irrelevant sharing. The idea is that users will share if they can quickly determine a post by post basis which people will have access to your content.
The top right-hand corner of your Facebook page will now feature “View Profile As” directly on your profile page. Options to adjust privacy settings will very soon be directly available from your profile homepage. However, the best privacy control change Facebook made is the addition of tag reviews. Now every time a friend tags you in photos, check-ins, or status updates, you will have the option to approve or reject the tag before they become visible to anyone else. It is possible to make it so friends can tag you without approval, but you are always prompted when a non-friend tags you. Yes, that’s right, you can now tag anybody in a post or photo, regardless if they are your Facebook friend. Untagging is also different, giving users more control over managing their online reputation. It is now possible to not only untag yourself but go a step further and ask the photo uploader to remove the photo from its online location.
Places can also now be tagged in your status update, even after you have left the physical area. Now, checking into a location happens from the status update. This way, users can now tag locations to photo albums, individual photos, and videos by using the “Nearby” icon that displays recent check-ins in your area.
As far as status updates go, a lock icon used to control who could see status updates. Now that icon will change based on whether it’s intended for public access, for friends, for a group or a friend list. Exactly like to Google+ Circles. Visibility of status updates can even be changed after posting.