The Facebook announcement on Oct. 6 was a big letdown for people expecting a radical redesign, Facebook phone or a Skype videochat partnership. Instead, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presented a modest set of new features that gives users more control over their information. The new features unveiled in the Facebook announcement include the ability to download information from Facebook, a central dashboard to control app permissions and a groups function that offers more flexibility in creating social circles.
At the Facebook announcement at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Zuckerberg said the biggest change is the upgrade to Facebook Groups. The New York Daily News reports that Facebook users can now create sets of friends and share information solely with that circle of friends. Zuckerberg said the Groups upgrade draws from Facebook Photos, where 95 percent of users are tagged in photos by friends. According to him, Facebook Groups gets rid of user inhibitions stemming from the reluctance to send out information that doesn’t apply to all their friends.
Download Your Information
The new Facebook feature called Download Your Information allows users to download everything from a Facebook account. The download option takes photos, videos, status posts, wall posts and events and puts it all into a single compressed file. Eric Sherman at bNET said that Download Your Information is a slick move because when people know they can walk away without losing everything, they feel safer. He writes that the combination of safety and control will help keep people from deleting their Facebook accounts.
Facebook app permissions dashboard
Facebook privacy issues have been a public relations thorn in the company’s side. A new apps dashboard lets Facebook users concerned about privacy see all Facebook third party apps they use and what permissions those apps have. App permissions can be changed or revoked from the dashboard. Now users can know what kind of information third party apps are trying to collect and control what they actually can obtain.