Facebook announced on Tuesday it would soon make available new controls for how its users share personal information. Facebook’s 750+ million users will now have some new tools to help them choose who can see personal information about them. The company plans to move several of it’s deeply nested privacy controls to users’ profile pages, alongside the areas of the site where they view and post updates and other content.
By making these controls available and obvious, Facebook hopes to compete with Google+, it’s current rival for social networking and media sharing sites. Facebook, traditionally against the idea and concept of “social grouping,” has always leaned towards making information more accessible, to more people, with greater ease. Allowing these controls and some rumored new grouping options would add to Facebook what Google+ users have been lauding as a clear advantage of Google’s social network over Facebook’s.
When Google+ was introduced in June, ( it has since amassed 29 million worldwide unique visitors in July,) it allowed users to build “circles” of contacts for their content right out of the gate. This let users put various people into circles and set specific privacy levels for what they could see when updates were made, or at least, to what circles a given update would be visible.
Facebook claims it is just responding to user requests for features by making the accommodations, but many speculate this is a decisively competitive move aimed at Google+ in hopes of steering transitioning social networking users back to itself by offering similar features to those found at Google+. By mimicking the top cited Google+ feature attributed to having the most people leave Facebook and sign up there, Facebook is sure it can remain competitive.
Chris Cox of Facebook said that making these privacy control changes now is critical to Facebook’s continuation, but emphasized that the changes were not made in response to any threat posed by the new social network from Google. “We are launching this now because it is ready,” he said.
We’ll soon know whether Facebook’s plan is a winner or not. What do you think?
About the Author: Jamel Diggs enjoys writing about the Internet and Social Networking, and is currently spreading the news about the importance of having a reliable home alarm to help protect against crimes in neighborhoods around the United States.