Print 11 comment(s) - last by willis888.. on Oct 9 at 12:16 PM

Groups gives better control over the sharing of content with specific people  (Source: Google)
Groups allows better control over who can see content and updates

Whenever an online company is as popular as Facebook, it will draw complaints and criticisms. Much of the issues that users and privacy advocates have with Facebook center on the privacy policy of the social network and how it allows users to control who sees the information that is uploaded to the site.

Facebook has unveiled a new feature called Groups. Groups is designed to allows the user to create as many different groups of users as they want and send posts and content notifications to those groups that only members there can see. The groups can have as many users as the person wants and friends are easy to add to the group.

This feature will address the dilemma of letting coworkers and people who may only be on a users profile for Farmville neighbors see content you really only mean for family or close friends. Each time a member of the group posts an update, the entire group is notified of the update. Facebook also added a group chat feature to Groups to let you all chat at one time rather than the existing chat method that only allows chats between two people.

Groups can also be used in a method similar to a mailing list. A group email address can allow members to get access to the updates when they are not on Facebook and the emails they send can be posted for the entire group to see. By default, Groups are closed so only people specifically added can view the content for the Group. Groups can also be set to secret where the name of the group is not listed. Default closed Groups do list the name so members can find them. 

Reuters quotes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying, "If we can do this, then we can unlock a huge amount of sharing that people want to do, but today they just can't do, because either it's too annoying, or there just aren't the right privacy settings to be able to do this at large scale."

The launch of Groups is also seen as a preemptive strike against Google, which announced Layers would be coming to Google social networks this fall. Analyst Ray Valdes from Gartner said, "It's a bit of a preemptive strike against Google. It's addressing a real problem that had been a shortcoming in the Facebook service. But it also has the effect of covering (Facebook's) flank."

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By Suntan on 10/7/2010 12:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
Perfect. Now all those mid-aged moms that are busy reconnecting with their highschool classmates can reconnect with that time honored highschool tradition of grouping up into clicks and excluding others... ...only electronically this time.


RE: Perfect
By Spivonious on 10/7/2010 12:42:49 PM , Rating: 5
^ "cliques"

If you think that cliques only happen in high school, you need to get outside more.

RE: Perfect
By marvdmartian on 10/7/2010 3:05:34 PM , Rating: 1
Well, if they're old enough, it could be clicks, as their joints are popping! ;)

LOL @ me.....I read the title of this as "Facebook debuts groups FAILURE"!!!

I like the idea
By 225commander on 10/7/2010 1:01:15 PM , Rating: 3
Basically, this is a 'valuable' feature in that I can post stuff that I only want a subset of my 'friends' to see. I was just confronted with the delima(sp?) of extended family members including uncles, aunt's, grandpa's and grandma's asking for 'friend' status as well as co-workers, etc. You either have to limit what you post significantly, or refuse 'friendship', either of which is not desirable for different reasons therefore I think this new feature will be welcome for some of us.

RE: I like the idea
By acase on 10/7/2010 4:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
They already had basic groups that do what you want. My family and coworkers are in their own group and can see nothing but my main page and info. No comments, no statuses, no pictures unless a make a particular album open to them.

How is this better?
By HighWing on 10/7/2010 12:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
Unless I am remembering incorrectly, didn't they already have "groups" before, with all the same features minus the chat?

What I personally would rather see is a way for me to just send updates to the friends lists I already have created! And then set it up an easy way to set those lists of people as only being shown in my news stream!

Can't See Myself Using This
By DtTall on 10/7/2010 1:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
While it is good that the default of the group is closed, if I join the group (or am added) I have no control over who else joins the group (and they can, therefore, see my updates).

They say only 5% of people use lists, but I love them. I can post whatever I want and cherry pick what list(s) I want things to be visible to. The only thing it cannot do (as far as I can tell) is limit what goes into my newsfeed (other than blocking users or programs individually).

It would be nice to have an option to "display updates from users in these list(s) only" or at least an option to filter newsfeed updates by a list.

Regardless, I don't see this new groups thing solving any of my issues with sharing.

So what's new?
By phatboye on 10/7/2010 7:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't get this article? I've had groups ever since I came on FB and I have had it so only certain groups could see my new content by default. So what exactly is new here cause I have been doing this for a while.

By ZoZo on 10/8/2010 9:47:50 AM , Rating: 2
Does this make the "lists" feature redundant?
I had my friends sorted into lists (family, high-school, closest friends, etc), and could already publish stuff visible only to the lists I specified.

By rbuszka on 10/8/2010 12:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I guess I'll need to go through and re-set all my privacy settings again, since every time they roll out a new feature like this, all the privacy settings get set back to the defaults. Facebook has a terrible record for user privacy; I've considered deactivating my account because of it.

Do not want
By willis888 on 10/9/2010 12:16:20 PM , Rating: 2
This is a way for facebook to extract more personal data than people would otherwise volunteer.

Under the old system, you would have to choose to let the world know that you are part of a social circle or liked a certain book or activity or whatever.

Under this new system, other people choose for you. Your facebook 'friends' decide what groups the internet knows you are a part of.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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