#Facebook shift steps up #privacy for new users

Facebook today unveiled a change to its privacy policy aimed at limiting the data shared by new users who may be unfamiliar with the huge social network.

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The shift means that new users posting on Facebook will share data only with friends, not the general public, unless they change privacy settings.

The tweak is the latest effort by Facebook to respond to concerns about privacy, following criticism over its data mining practices for marketing purposes.

“While some people want to post to everyone, others have told us that they are more comfortable sharing with a smaller group, like just their friends,” Facebook said in a blog post.

“We recognise that it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone when they actually meant to share just with friends, compared with the reverse. So, going forward, when new people join Facebook, the default audience of their first post will be set to friends. Previously, for most people, it was set to public.”

Facebook added that first-time users will see a reminder to choose an audience for their first post, and if they don’t make a choice, it will be set to friends.

The social network allows its users to change the audience for a post at any time, including of past posts.

Facebook said it will also soon roll out “a new and expanded privacy checkup tool, which will take people through a few steps to review things like who they’re posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile.”

The company said it made the changes in response to feedback from users “that they are sometimes worried about sharing something by accident, or sharing with the wrong audience.”

Facebook, which has grown to more than a billion members worldwide, has been dogged by privacy issues for years, as well as by lawsuits claiming it fails to ensure personal data is safeguarded from marketers and third-party apps.

The group agreed with a US government agency to submit to external audits of how well it guards users’ data.

Facebook removes ‘Search by Name’ opt out setting

Facebook users can no longer remain invisible in search results.

Facebook removes 'Search by Name' opt out setting

Facebook removes ‘Search by Name’ opt out setting

Facebook has further relaxed its privacy policies and users can no longer opt out of appearing in search results.

Facebook, so far, was letting users opt out of being searched by name but now it has removed that option. The company said that only a small percentage of Facebook members were using it. Now any member on Facebook can search for anyone without any restrictions.

The feature was intended to prevent users from showing up in searches conducted by non-friends. However, Facebook states that it lead to a lot of confusion while using Graph search which lets you search for friends, check everyone’s status updates and shows profile pictures to everybody in a group.

Facebook has stated, “The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited. For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline. Today, people can also search Facebook using Graph Search (for example, “People who live in Seattle,”) making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline.”

Facebook said that this search setting won’t disappear for those still using it until those users get a notification and click a button reading, “Okay, I understand.” Those notifications will be going out in coming weeks, the company said.

The social networking site adds that users can still maintain their privacy through the privacy settings page, “to quickly control who can find posts you shared in the past, visit the privacy settings page. With one click, you can limit the audience of posts you’ve shared in the past.”

Source: Slate

Facebook Changes Cover Photo Rules (Again): 3 Things You Still Shouldn’t Do

3 Things You Shouldn't Do On Your Cover Photo

3 Things You Shouldn’t Do On Your Cover Photo

Facebook has quietly removed the “20% text rule” for Page cover photos. In case you weren’t aware, since March 2013, Facebook has had a guideline stipulating that cover photos on Facebook could not include more than 20 percent text. This rule caused both confusion and frustration among business Page owners. It was often hard to judge whether or not a cover image was in compliance. And some brands seemed to get away with breaking the rules, while others didn’t.

But as of today, according to the updated Facebook Page Guidelines, it appears that the rule has disappeared. So what does this mean for businesses? Go crazy! Actually, not really. What it means is that businesses need to find that fine line between “just enough” and “way too much.” Just because the cover photo can now have as much text as you’d like, doesn’t mean you should abuse the space.

Here’s how the new guidelines appear:

Facebook Page Guidelines

The rule may be gone, but there are 3 things you still should NOT do with your Facebook cover photo: 

1. Overcrowd the space

A cover photo is 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. Although it’s one of the largest image spaces on Facebook, text still needs to be used strategically.  When creating your new cover photo, make sure your text is organized, readable and makes sense. Don’t try to cram everything in at once. Use a font, and a font size, that is legible. People naturally read left to right, so keep this in mind when adding text to your cover photo: Don’t try to be so clever that visitors have to work hard to read the type.

In addition, don’t try to convey too many ideas at once. If you want to promote a new eBook or PDF download, go for it. Just don’t promote your latest eBook, a PDF download and new website all in the same cover photo. Spread it out and highlight one idea per photo. Focusing on one thing at a time also motivates you to change your cover photo frequently, something I suggest.

2. Be too sales-y

A few months ago Facebook removed cover photo guidelines stating that a business Page’s cover could not include any form of call to action. Since then, businesses have had the opportunity to experiment with promoting products, giveaways and contests through their cover photos, but were still limited by the 20 percent text rule. Now that the limit is gone, businesses should be careful to not be over sales-y on their cover photos.

It’s important to remember that Facebook is a place where people like to chat with their friends, see photos and interact with their favorite brands in a personal way. Turning your cover photo into a digital billboard might be dangerous for your business. Instead, try to think of creative ways to promote your products and contests. For example, instead of saying “New hair straightener, BUY NOW!” try something like “Still having bad hair days? We’ve got the solutions you need at [insert website]!”

3. Forget the power of a picture

Bottom line: Just because you can now fit a gazillion words on a cover photo doesn’t mean you should. Remember that pictures still speak louder than words when it comes to Facebook. When you update your cover photo, the image will appear in your fans’ News Feed, so keep in mind that Facebook users respond more to images than they do to text. A strong photo of your team, or your product, could bring you more attention than a cover photo crammed with words.