Facebook makes sweeping changes in privacy, sharing controls

August 24, 2011

Facebook is making some sweeping changes when it comes to how you share content with friends, and many look to be inspired by some of Google+’s more robust features.

Not all of these features are completely new, but are simply being relocated from rarely-visited privacy settings pages to more trafficked spots like the news feed and profile pages. New inline profile controls allow you to control visibility of nearly every bit of information you share, and are eerily reminiscent of Google+’s Circles sharing implementation. A new drop-down menu will appear next to individual status updates and pieces of profile information (see above), enabling users to select the “audiences,” groups, and friend lists who can see those bits of their personal lives. The View Profile As tool will now reside at the top of your profile page rather than deep in the privacy settings, making it painless to preview what your mom will see before approving her friend request. Keep reading for a breakdown of some of the other big additions.

More robust tools have also been put in place to control the types of information that others can associate with you. Though you’ll now be able to tag people you are not yet friends with or pages you haven’t yet Liked, users will be able to approve or deny those tags before associated posts appear on their profiles — a welcomed feature if your friends are particularly tag-crazed. Along the same lines, you can simply de-tag posts or remove them completely, and even request that the original content be removed completely from Facebook — you know, for when that mobile upload-crazed friend uploads a shot of you not in your finest moment. Other notable features include geo-location in status updates (to replace the oft-overlooked Facebook Places feature), and the ability to change who sees those status updates after they are posted. Interestingly, Facebook has changed its “Everyone” terminology to “Public,” both borrowing lingo from Google+ and better representing the fact that those posts can be viewed by anyone online.

These changes should start rolling out to profiles starting Thursday, August 25th, and we’re glad to see Facebook reacting to Google’s social push in this way. The new features should help with privacy concerns on the site by making it easier than ever to maintain a grip on who sees what when it comes to your content.

Source: Facebook Blog

This article was originally published on Thisismynext.com — “Facebook bolsters sharing options, takes cues from Google+”

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