While Facebook has talked a big privacy talk for a long time, today they’ve implemented a major change. A sweeping new update is making it simple for users to see who they are sharing content with and all new users will be defaulted to “friends” rather than “public.” Current users will be notified about their settings as well through the use of overlays, pop-ups and a friendly looking blue dinosaur:
Facebook is also releasing Privacy Checkup that will walk current users through their settings. This comes in the form of an impossible to miss overlay and pop-up notifications that clearly explain who each user is sharing their content with.
Even those users that haven’t changed their posting settings in a while will be given an interactive notification to take posts off of the Public settings:
Having posts default to a non-public format is a fundamental change for Facebook that may hurt their efforts in the real-time arena. Having users post publicly adds more content for hashtags and real-time conversations something that both Twitter and Facebook have been trying to monetize. If less and less users are sharing their updates, expect for hashtags and the Facebook real-time push to continue to decline.
To see the full release, head to Facebook for the official press release.