For those of us on Facebook, you are probably aware of the new privacy settings that were developed. It seems to be rolling out this week and I happened to see the new settings alert upon login this afternoon. See screenshots at the end.
One thing seems certain with this move by Facebook — as real-time search becomes more relevant, Facebook wants you and your profile to become more public.
Now depending on what you put inside Facebook, this may not be a bad thing actually. Who can complain about some added publicity? If someone does a search in Google or Bing for something that is occurring right this minute (say, free coffee in Boston) then someone is bound to Tweet or post about this in Facebook and poof, there you are raining down in a real-time search result right at the very top of the search results page of Google.
Then again, if you’re posting things in Facebook that you’d rather not blast to everyone in the free world, perhaps you should tone things down a while until you’ve got a handle on these new privacy settings and how they will impact you.
If you are a business using Facebook or Twitter, this is fantastic news for you. I don’t have to explain how to leverage this new real-time search results feature on Google, Bing, Cuil and Yahoo to promote your business. You already know what power this holds.
But this does worry me when it comes to the integrity of Facebook and Twitter and other social networking tools. Are they selling themselves out too much to business and social marketing? Are they forgetting that their multi-million count customer base is at its heart, people being people who simply want to connect online?
I sense that there could be a backlash brewing over this latest move, but we will just have to wait and see how it plays out.