The future of FB

Very recently, FB has made some changes that has further limited users’ control over their information. Read articles about it here. In a nutshell, users can no longer hide their name, profile picture, networks, friends list, current city, and pages that they are “fans” of (now, they’ve changed it to “like”). This also includes user activities, like liking, commenting, adding a friend, writing on walls, etc. You still have options to adjust the visibility on the profile page, but funnily, all the FB pages we’re connected to are public (for the benefit of advertisers and data miners…?)

After reading danah boyd’s article “Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad?“, it could seem that FB might be walking dangerously close to being shunned by its users… but I think that users, like myself, are so dependent on it to connect to our friends that privacy settings would not bother people. But in some of boyd’s other essays, such as “Living and learning with social media” and “how youth find privacy in interstitial pages“, she points out that for youths, privacy is more about control of space, of information, and of trust. She was talking about it in terms of youths’ privacy at home (parental surveillance) and online (technology to assert privacy)… but in a way it can be related to online privacy right now, and how online privacy is dead, but as long as users feel that they have control over their information, they wouldn’t really care much if the privacy settings are being altered. After all, most users go online to, in a way, publicize themselves and make themselves known. These are the people who wouldn’t care too much about privacy settings. But for other users who go online to connect, and are concerned with who gets to see their information, they need to be more aware of privacy changes.

On a more interesting note, Facebook is also expanding on social media fads (there were live Twitter updates, and social gaming) to community pages. Their concept of fan pages will be applied to concepts, places, activities and ideas, rather than just brands. It aims to be “the best collection of shared knowledge” on topics and will source content from Wikipedia, and FB users can contribute to it as well (from The Facebook blog). It will be really, really interesting to see what changes go on in the next year.

And even MORE interestingly, FB is launching a new set of tools that can bring the FB social experience to any website! In short, web publishers can add a plug-in on their website, and let visitors ‘like’ their content (stories, photos…) and these will add on to their FB profiles. And apparently, then, all webpages can look like an FB page.

With FB already having so many interactions (chat, mail, media sharing, profiles, and in the future, community, and open web interactions), what will Facebook become? It will no longer be a SNS, but some morphed up super-interactive social networking platform that will be, basically, EVERYWHERE! Soon, it will dominate the web…. and well, I’m just wondering what will become of it. Will it displace other SNSs like Myspace? How will its users react to all these new developments? And how will we define FB in the future?

Related articles:

Why Facebook’s new profile changes matter

Facebook data and privacy: So much has changed in two years

Facebook further reduces your control over personal information

Facebookipedia? Here comes ‘Community pages’

Facebook shows off new tools to socialize the entire web

More related articles from googlesearch

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