Facebook has bee under a lot of fire lately due to it’s acquisition of VR startup Oculus Rift. It sent out the vibe that startups exist only to be sold off to bigger companies.
Plus, many had accused Facebook of robbing them of their privacy, either directly or indirectly. Directly as in Facebook doesn’t really delete posts and your ‘private’ posts are sometimes shown to all. Another reason is that Facebook is the one-stop hub where anyone can learn everything about you (That problem however goes deep down, into the core aspects of the concept of social networking itself)
Facebook also had briefly changed Instagram allowing it to sell photos to companies for their use without the explicit permission from users.
But the announcements on Tuesday say otherwise. It seems Facebook actually cares about’s it’s user’s privacy. It has announced some tweaks to the social network which ultimately are there to improve your privacy.
Surprising. A company notorious for being a threat to it’s user’s privacy it actually making strides towards better privacy
Facebook also showed off some interesting tidbits: It does over 30 trillion (Yes, trillion) checks everyday which are done to ensure that your privacy is maintained. What’s more, Facebook also does 4000 surveys everyday on an average which are focused on user’s privacy. That too in 27 languages!
Those 30 trillion checks (Mind boggling, isn’t it?) are done to ensure that your posts aren’t shared/visible to those people for whom it wasn’t intended to. This shows Facebook’s intent to fix the public appearance of ‘private’ posts.
First of the new changes; A better explanation of the post privacy settings. While Facebook does offer options which affect your post’s visibility (Public, Private, Friends, etc), now those options will be more detailed so as to reduce confusion.
For example. the Public setting means your post “will be visible to anyone on and off Facebook”, i.e they don’t have to be Friends with you to see the post.
Plus to educate users about the availability of these settings, Facebook is testing out a cartoon dinosaur pop-up which will remind you if your privacy settings haven’t been given much attention.
Also, now the option for changing post privacy settings has moved from the bottom right to the top when writing the post. This changes has already been implemented in Facebook’s mobile apps.
And if someone shares a post, Facebook will explain to them that only mutual friends may be able to view the shared post.
The next change coming up is the invisibility of old cover photos: While your profile’s Cover photo is visible to anyone, users have been clamoring for the invisibility of old cover photos. Facebook has finally answered their calls and has been testing out a feature that will hide old cover photos from people whom you are not Friends with.
Like always, the changes will not be rolled out just yet. First the changes will be tested out on a small circle of users and if the feedback is positive, the test circle will grow on and on and in the end, the circle will encompass the whole of Facebook.