Facebook today announced a series of privacy-related changes to its social networking site, several of which address the question “who can see this?” Facebook has for several years (or I suppose we can go ahead and say “since inception”) been the subject of questions about privacy and what it constitutes as fair game as far as user-entered information goes. The two main subjects of this newest release cover broadly what will appear on your profile from here on out as well as what happens when you share something on Facebook in many manners.
On Your Profile
First note that now on your profile you’ll be able to see a pull-down menu that allows you to select everything “from your hometown to your latest photo album” and decide whether or not you’d like that element to be seen publicly. These settings (or some of them at least) have been available before on your Settings page, this page now being much cleaner and less full of wackiness.
Along with what appears on your profile, the photos you’ve been tagged in, while before simply appearing on your profile instantly, you’ll now have the power to approve or disapprove before they take action. With this comes (back) the idea that you should have control over your own photos, your ability to keep your photos private – both in sight and in tagging – from friends or random onlookers.
Finally there’s a “View Profile As” button in play, as it’s been for some time now, but it’ll be moved to the top of your profile and visible only to you so it’s easy to see how anyone else (be it a stranger, friend, or foe) sees your profile.
When You Share
Your ability to direct where your shared content goes is now inline rather than behind the scenes – see a trend here? Where before you had to go into your settings to change who was able to see posts you made, you can now select who is going to be able to see your content each time you post it with a simple pulldown menu next to the post button. At the moment you’ve only got a few options for what you’re able to do with this list, but it’ll be expanding over time.
There’s a simple word change in play now: “Everyone” has been changed to “Public,” this clarifying things a bit. Along with this is the ability to change settings on a status update once you’ve posted it. Thus far they’ve only added the ability to change who can see a post, but we’re hoping for more editing abilities in the future.
Tagging has been updated so that you no longer have to be friends with a person or “like” a page if you want to mention it, though you can still, as mentioned above, have the ability to disapprove of a tag if you don’t like it. Finally, there’s the ability to tag your location in any post. Where before you were only able to “check in” to locations with a smartphone, you can now make it work from your PC. Neato!
All of these changes should be rolled out inside the next few days to you and yours.