UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 438 December 2, 2009

Big Changes Coming to Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg posted an open letter today about some possibly far reaching changes: the phasing out of regional networks. This will affect over half of the 350 million Facebook users. While sites like Twitter seem to be releasing a feature a year, Facebook has been experimenting with different designs and features at what some may consider an alarming pace.

I personally respect a company with such scale taking the risk to improve their product with radical changes. And make no mistake, removing regional networks is quite potentially the biggest change Facebook has made since opening up registration to the world.

The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.

We're adding something that many of you have asked for—the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. In addition, we'll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings. If you want to read more about this, we began discussing this plan back in July.

Mark Zuckerberg

It will be interesting to see what Facebook purists make of this. With a userbase the size of the US population even a minority of complaints can turn into a flood. Zuckerberg very carefully points out the reasoning and benefits but this may be a tough sell for some.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

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Alex is CEO of Sideshow , an award winning creative agency. You can read his blog here.

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Testing the comment photo feature for non-linked accounts

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This turned out to be a good move. As Facebook grew some of these regional networks had millions of members in their own right and so it's not surprising that they concluded that this was no longer the best way for you to control member's privacy. At the time 50 percent of all Facebook users were members of regional networks so it probably was not an easy decision to make. Hindsight has shown that with more than 100 million people using Facebook, change can often be for the better.

Talia - Editor Baby Car Seats

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Facebook Rocks!

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I too admire the ability to change rapidly. Good job facebook.