In this Read Write Web Facebook article they discuss the new changes happening over at Facebook and what Facebook maybe trying to accomplish.
According to Facebook execs they say these new privacy changes are all about increasing a user’s control over their privacy.
In the post RWW sites Traffic and Advertising and Twitter as possible reasons for Facebook’s big changes.
I think it is a combination of all three….
Facebook is being used by more businesses, professionals, and organizations so allowing them to tailor their messages to specific groups is important.
The reason businesses are jumping on social media is because of it’s word of mouth and viral nature so with a more public approach FB allows people to tap into the search engine driven metrics to increase their brands exposure.
Finally, if you are going to stay on top you better know who your competitors are (i.e. Twitter) and not only keep up, but out innovate them. If Facebook ignored Twitter and just kept on their merry way of doing things they would eventually be left behind – MySpace anyone!
Cons to the new system….
1. Think before you update – I don’t think this is a negative but some people do not want to have to think before they post. Right now when you share something on Facebook, at the very least it stays within Facebook so if you do not friend anyone that you don’t want to see your Facebook life then you are good. Well, in theory that is true but we all know the internet is a public place so nothing is really safe but now you have to watch what you are posting even more because it could go into the great beyond that much faster.
2. Customizing Your Updates – If you are going to break up your Facebook “what’s on your mind” posts you now have to customize your who can view this settings if you do not want it public, or create Friend Lists , or both. For some this is organization overload and they just don’t want to go there. FB started as a social platform with a let’s have fun and just let it all hang out there mindset, now that it has moved passed college and into the adult world there is more accountability. Growing up is just so hard to do…isn’t it?
3. More steps – If you do not want your Facebook status public with the new change you have some steps to posting your updates. So far there have been a few issues with the saved setting so do not trust that it won’t go public. The default or first setting is public and then it narrows from there, so when you post now you have the text, possibly a link, image, or video and then you have to check the drop down to finalize who will see it. This amounts to 3 to 5 steps and maybe an extra 15 seconds IF you have organized your contacts.
Pros to the new system….
1. Content Barometer – Facebook is not Twitter, it is more social less information driven, which means that the FB community can get content overload quickly. With the new Facebook system you can share more without overloading your community. This means you have to create strategic and targeted lists, but if you are in business this should not be new you’ve done it with your email client, and if you are active on Twitter you have probably started doing it with your Twitter client.
2. Content Control – I don’t know about you but for me there are things that I hold back posting because I do not know if the context will be understood by everyone, now I can post it without worrying that a certain group might not understand it. The private messaging is great but the point of social networking is the ease of use, who wants another inbox to check – not me!
3. Targeted Communication – A message is more powerful when it is targeted, if you are posting information that highlights your expertise, industry, business, or cause you want it to carry weight right? Creating advocates is about observing, listening, and building relationships you do not want to alienate community members by inundating them with information they do not care to see . This new FB system can help you create structure in your information sharing and turn a shot in the dark into a well positioned message to strengthen business building relationships.
There are some bugs in the system but for me personally I like where Facebook is going – how about you?