While Zuckerberg teased out the upcoming changes last week, he also indicated this would be rolling out over time- well, apparently that meant, “next week” because here we are with a massive update and a huge public relations push by Facebook to encourage users to adjust and explore their privacy settings.
Here’s the meat of the announcement:
As they said they would, privacy settings for every item rolls out today. In their announcement they give a nice example:
For example, a person may want to share some posts with everyone, such as her opinion on a new movie. Other times, that same person may want to share more personal updates like her new phone number or a photo of her children with a narrower community, such as her Friends or members of Friend Lists she has created. By making selections in a drop-down menu, users can easily tailor their posts to specified audiences.
Also, regional Networks will be gone, which makes selecting custom settings much clearer.
A refresher on what Facebook considers the default public info even to non-friends and non-users:
Now this information is still able to be hidden if you like, but this is the core set of info that would be publicly available by default (and they’re right, most people are fine with this). Facebook is hoping you’ll make as much public as possible, from status updates to multimedia, because it will help their push for more traffic and more relevance in global searches – sure to make them a prominent force when Microsoft’s Bing and Google start integrating public Facebook Statuses and Tweets in the coming weeks.
Facebook will also debut a “Transition Tool” to help users modify and understand their privacy choices. Along side that will be a large privacy education component inside what they are calling the “Privacy Center” which will help current users but also add, essentially, a new user orientation component.
A major announcement buried in the release is Facebook’s new rules for minors. If a user is under 18 they aren’t sharing their information truly publicly- even if they’ve suggested they want that in their privacy settings. The widest circle someone under 18 can open up to is, “‘Friends’, ‘Friends of Friends’ and members of school or work networks he or she has joined.”
If you’re so inclined I encourage you to read the full announcement, but at the very least I would like to echo Facebook’s call for everyone to at least check and review your current privacy settings.
UPDATE: One other interesting item of note, Facebook Page status updates can now be localized and visible based on country or language