New Facebook Groups, Dashboard, and ‘Download Your Info’

At a conference on Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg announced a few new adjustments to Facebook that he hopes will crack down on the privacy issues. While some of them are a bit more significant than others, all of the changes will affect your Facebook experience.

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The first new tool has been called “Download Your Information.” This will allow Facebook users to download almost any of the important information and content they have posted on the website. 

For example, many Facebook users are likely to use the website for photo albums, instead of actual books and paper photographs. They can also upload photographs to their albums that have simply been taken from websites. Either way, a lot of people collect their memories on Facebook, and “Download Your Information” will allow them to securely download them onto their actual computers. 

Facebook users can also download their past wall posts, events, private messages, friends, and more.  Essentially, you can now backup your social life, like you would important documents on your computer. When you decide to download your information, Facebook will compile it into a zip file and email it to you.  Not sure this new feature will help Facebook crack down on their privacy problems. 

The next feature to be rolling out to a Facebook page near you is the new Dashboard. Once your Facebook page changes to the new layout, there will be more focus on the Apps you have chosen to use. Mark Zuckerberg wanted to make the viewing and controlling of apps was a much easier process. 

Finally, and probably most significantly, is the introduction of the new “Groups” tool. Until now, Groups were simply collections of people who like one thing. Now, Facebook Groups are going to be much more exclusive to you, your friends, and your privacy. 

Zuckerberg called his new Group design a “social solution” for the problem with Facebook groups. He negatively referred to Twitter, without saying “Twitter,” by saying, “lists do not work.” He said that nobody wants to make lists; plus, users are suddenly lumped into groups with people they barely interact with. 

He wanted to change the way Facebook Groups work so that we can enjoy them with the people we actually know care about. 

Now, groups will be much smaller. Within your group of friends, you can share stories, comments, photos, videos, and more, without the rest of Facebook having the ability to see it. Your Group activity will be completely hidden from everyone except the members of your Group. 

They also went out of their way to make sure the new Facebook Groups was simple and easy to use. After creating a Group, you simply invite the Facebook users you would like to become members of the Group.  From then on, only those users you invited will receive things you post in your Group. 

The “Docs” option in Facebook Groups allows the members of a Group to edit documents together, in real time. This will go a long way in helping students connect for school work and even professionals working together from different locations. 

The best part about the new Groups feature is the ability to chat with multiple Facebook users at once. Up until now, you could only chat with one other person. Yes, you could hold five different conversations in five different windows, but many of us would like all five of those people in just one conversation, like a chat room. Now you can do that with Facebook Groups. Once you have created a Group and invited members, you can chat with multiple members at one time, in one chat window. 

These three new Facebook features, particularly the new Groups, will change the way the site functions and the users interact on it. As with most things, only time will tell us if these features diminish or increase Facebook’s privacy concerns. 



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