It seems like we hear horror stories about Facebook every day. There are writers who spend all their time at Techie Buzz warning you about Facebook scams. Joel just did a great write up on how to not get hacked on the worlds largest social network. Now, it looks like Facebook is ready to help you control your sharing and privacy setting.
Announced today on their official blog, Facebook is introducing a slew of changes to their privacy and sharing settings. These are some seriously good changes for Facebook, which hasn’t always been known for giving users control over their sharing. There are a large number of smaller changes, but they can be broken down into two big categories. Let’s take a look at each one.
The first tagging related change is the ability to control when tagged photos appear on your profile. In the past, when someone tagged you in a photo, it would appear on your profile automatically. That lead to many spam tags appearing on profiles, and that was a huge problem for users. Now, you can choose to approve or reject each tagged photo posting individually, giving you more control over what appears on your Facbook profile.
The next major tagging change is an old feature brought back. In the old days of Facebook, you had the ability to approve or reject tags people added to your photos or posts. Facebook has brought that back for users, which is good news. Now random people tagging your photos without your knowledge won’t be a big deal anymore.
The next tagging change revolves around the tagging of non-friends and locations. Previously, Facebook only allowed you to tag people you are friends with in your posts. That meant that if you were with someone who you weren’t friends with, you couldn’t tag them. Now, you can, with their approval.
In addition to that, you can now tag locations without checking into them, which makes locations much more useful. Interestingly enough, this change means that Facebook is now phasing out the mobile-only version of Places. That means that all settings associated with that will be removed, and will need to be replaced in the new location settings.
The final tagging change revolves around the removal of tags and content on Facebook. In the past, the process of untagging and removing of content was unclear for many users. Now, Facebook will prompt you for a reason, which will allow you to take one of a set of actions against a piece on content. This marks a new phase for controlling your persona via Facebook, giving you the ability to request the takedown of a photo or even block a user based on a tag.
The next big set of changes from Facebook revolves around sharing controls. Many of us (myself included) are enthralled by Google’s sharing system on Google+. Facebook now has something very similar with its Inline Sharing Controls. When you make a post on Facebook going forward, you will have the ability to select who gets to see it. Options include Public, Friends, and Custom, and will grow to include Facebook Lists in the near future.
In the past, once a post was posted you could not change the sharing settings. Now, you are given the option to change those settings after you hit ‘Post.’ This will allow you to stop that secret message for your best friends going out to everyone on the internet.
The last change Facebook announced is a change in the way you handle your profile visibility. In the past, if you wanted to see what your profile looked like to the public, it was hard to do. Now, you will have a button on your Facebook profile to access these previews. This button is labeled ‘View Profile Asâ€¦’, and will do just what I described.
Facebook: Now More Privacy Friendly
There you have it. Facebook is now working very hard to help users get more control over their content. These changes are, together, the most sweeping sharing and privacy changes Facebook has ever released. These new features will be released to all users over the next few days, starting today. When you receive them, you will get a walkthrough to see all the new changes.
What do you think of Facebook’s changes? Are you happy to see this kind of user privacy become a priority at Facebook? Is there a change you were hoping to see sometime soon? Let us know what you think in comment section below.