In the coming days, Facebook will make you much more comfortable with its privacy settings, hoping that you will stay away from Google+.
Tuesday, the social media giant announced improvements for users to determine who can see their information on Facebook, finally allowed to manage their personal information as they control the range of viewers.
Your profile should feel like your home on the web - you should never feel like stuff appears there that you don't want, and you should never wonder who sees what's there, says Chris Cox, Facebook's Vice President of Product, in the Facebook Blog announcement.
Facebook had been working on the changes for the last six months, and decided to unveil them after consultation with privacy groups, says Cox.
The main change among the updates is shifting the users' controls from a settings page to right next to the posts, photos and tags.
Each time you are tagged in a photo or video, you will be able to confirm or remove your identity before your profile picks up the content.
By clicking on a small drop-down menu icon to the upper right of the item, you can view and choose the viewers of the specific content, among public, friends or custom.
Also, users will be able to review and approve or reject tags that other people make to their photos.
The new settings will also allow for more location tagging. Before, users could only check in to locations using the Places feature on a smart phone. Now, users will be able to add the location for anything and from any device.
Overall, the improvements on Facebook will allow you to:
- Access inline profile controls
- Approve or reject photos and posts you are tagged in before it goes online
- Review and approve/reject being tagged by someone else
- Know what your profile looks like to others easily
- Change who can see a post after it's posted
- Add tags of anyone on Facebook
- Add location to anything, even without a smartphone
- Remove tags or content from your profile, and ask the content owner to take it down
When these changes roll out on Thursday, Facebook will notify you with a prompt for a tour that walks you through these new features from your homepage, said Cox.
For more information, please visit the Facebook Blog.
Privacy has been an ongoing challenge for advertising-supported Facebook, which must balance its commercial interests in having people share more of their lives on the service with users' sensitivities about having sufficient control over their personal information.
Last year, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg rolled out simplified privacy settings -- which at one time required users to tinker with more than 150 different options -- amid complaints by some users and privacy advocates.
Facebook also recently raised privacy hackles when it expanded the use of a facial recognition technology that automatically identifies people in photographs.
The latest changes come as Facebook is facing its most significant competition in the social networking market in years, following the recent launch of Google Inc's rival service, Google+.