Saturday, December 12, 2009

Facebook Introduces New Privacy Features (

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, introduces new privacy features but eliminates regional networks

Paige Maynard

With 350 million users on the site, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has been working towards better security and privacy options within various regions. For example, last summer Facebook introduced an option allowing its users to publish and share content with “everyone.” And we do mean “everyone.”

After millions of users switched over to Facebook, ditching their MySpace accounts in the process, Zuckerberg always had exponentially better privacy options to boast, which is what brought in millions upon millions of users. To this day, Facebook is choosing privacy over real-time numbers, according to

In the most recent development for making Facebook a more secure site for its users, Zuckerberg sent an open letter to the community outlining the changes to expect within upcoming months.

“We’re adding something that many of you have asked for — the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. In addition, we’ll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings,” said Zuckerberg in his open letter to the community.

Zuckerberg and his staff figured the best way to tighten privacy on the site would be to eliminate regional networks. In the beginning, Facebook was a social network for college students only.

Regional networks made sharing content with others in your hometown possible, but now that a certified school email address is not required to sign up for the community, Facebook has seen regional networks expand to huge numbers—especially in places such as China.

In the endless social networking battle, Twitter and Facebook battle it out to see which can get the higher discusses the disadvantages Twitter has to Facebook, many of which have to do with Twitter’s start-up engine slowly running out of steam when Facebook is still going strong.

Facebook’s Head of Strategy and Planning, Trevor Johnson, told TechRadar, “Applications make up a huge part of Facebook. There are over 90,000 applications. 69 million active users are using FarmVille alone, that’s more users than Twitter."Zuckerberg sure knows how to till the crops of the internet world.

With more people using a single application than those that belong to one website alone, Zuckerberg had to feel the pressure to get his privacy policy and security options up-to-par. Since July he has been working with user suggestions, and in the new year he promises some big changes to the website. For the better, of course.

“Twitter” may have been the word of the year, but Facebook is still clearly on top. “Facebook is not just about adding photos and gaining friends, it’s integrated in lives,” said Johnson.

Johnson couldn’t be more correct. Recently, at his own wedding, a groom tweeted and changed his Facebook status to “married” while standing at the altar. Can’t wait to read the Honeymoon updates.

In the end, we can all thank this Harvard grad for creating a phenomenon in his dorm room that allows us stay in touch with those that we would have eventually lost contact with.

“It has been a great year for making the world more open and connected,” concluded Zuckerberg.

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