Facebook, the world's largest social networking site with 750 million users, has introduced a slew of changes aimed at giving users more control over what they share, what other people share about them, and where all this information would appear. The changes are set to be rolled out over the next few weeks.
The 33 million Indians who throng Facebook would be part of the worldwide community that would be able to add location information to any of their posts (or updates), even after they make it, instead of having to 'check in', using a mobile device. Earlier, Facebook users could only 'check in' to locations (socially share the places they visit) using the Places feature on a smartphone. However, Cox says, "Lots of people use Facebook to talk about where they are, have been, or want to go. Now, you can add your location from anywhere, regardless of what device you are using, or whether it is a status update, a photo or a wall post. Of course, you can always choose not to add a location at all."
The privacy changes are being seen as a direct response to social networking rival Google+, which, while still in its testing stage, appears to have got the balance right. Google+ user Amith K, a Bangalore university student, says, "Earlier, in order to change your privacy settings, you had to go through the actual settings tab. Now, like Google+'s 'circles' feature, Facebook users can control each individual piece of content with a drop-down menu." From the moment users join Google+, they can categorise friends and contacts into different groups called circles. And, when data is shared on Google+, the user is allowed to decide who he would share the information with-whether his family, friends, colleagues or everyone on the site.