Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken the unprecedented step of sending a message to all 350 million members of Facebook about changes to the popular social networks’ privacy policies.
In the letter, Zuckerberg explains that Facebook has outgrown geographic regions for networks (such as Australia, India etc) so as of an unspecified date (possibly immediately) networks based on geographical regions will cease to be.
Further, Mark states that Facebook will be providing a “simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone” through a “privacy settings page [that is] simpler by combining some settings.”
All users will be prompted in the coming weeks to make a decision on the new privacy settings as part of the changes.
Although on the surface the changes would appear to be enabling improved privacy on Facebook, the change is at least in part driven by the complete opposite: users will be forced to decide whether they want to share their profiles to everyone, an option that has been previously available but rarely utilized. Getting more profiles into the public space will help Facebook front a public content face for the site that has the ability to deliver millions of additional page views, while at the same time helping drive advertising.
Whatever the motive though, credit to Mark Zuckerberg for taking the message to the masses under his own name, because it is most definitely the right thing to do.