Facebook has started rolling out its new privacy settings, which give users a fair bit more control over just who can see their status updates and various uploads, but underneath all that there’s something a little less respectable happening. Facebook is making itself a bit more like Twitter.
Facebook may well be giving users a little more room to breathe when it comes to choosing who sees their updates, which is all well and good, but it’s also taken the opportunity to make sure thatthe option to make status updates something a little more public is front and centre, with the “Everyone” update in the same list. That’s what’s got users reminded of Twitter, a service that many have said Facebook tries quite hard to ape when it comes to status updates.
This latest news ties in very neatly indeed with the announcement earlier this week that Google was to gain access to Facebook status updates, adding them to its stock of real-time search options, and generally rounding out its feature set so that it boasted the same options as Microsoft’s Bing, which also boasts Facebook updates.
The one big stipulation on those searches was that they be limited to public status updates; now that a lot more updates will be made public, it seems that search engines will likely have their hands a lot deeper in your Facebook than previously imagined.
Indeed, the word from the folks at TechCrunch is pretty much the same; Facebook may well be offering a lot more privacy options but that doesn’t necessarily mean that users will be using them… indeed, for many, the new change will make Facebook a lot less private, opening its users up to search engines in a way that makes it look as though Facebook is, once again, trying hard to match Twitter.
Still, it’ll be interesting to see what impact this has on how people use Facebook in general, and if the response will be (as many have suggested) so negative as to provoke a return to the old privacy arrangement.