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New Facebook Privacy Opens The Floodgates, Offers More Control

The new privacy settings Facebook is rolling out today should have the ironic effect of substantially increasing the volume of user-created content that is available to the general public, according to All Facebook:

As Chris Cox stated on today’s privacy call, “everyone is the new default” for status updates and links.

Facebook made sure to highlight that users will receive notifications throughout the transition process about the implications of making their content accessible to “Everyone”. Given that only 15 to 20 percent of users have set their privacy settings in the past, this means upwards of 280 million users will get the recommendation that they set their new privacy settings for status updates and links to “Everyone”.

This new content, coupled with Google’s new real-time search, profoundly reshapes the search landscape as well as adding a whole new dimension to reputation management.

While the new settings will create a tremendous amount of content for Google/Yahoo!/Bing to index and for developers to build upon, the new settings also offer more control to the users who take advantage of them. The most significant new feature, in my book, is the ability to post status updates and content to only select friends lists.

The absence of this feature has long frustrated me with Twitter, especially in light of the new Twitter Lists.

As I’ve said in the case of Twitter, the ability to post content to specific categories of people that I create increases the value of Facebook exponentially. By targeting my content to those friends who are most likely to be interested in it, rather than broadcasting across my entire network, I can reduce the noise and by doing so increase the attention that those friends are paying to my content.

Everyone wins.

While these changes apply only to individual accounts, from a marketing perspective, I’d love to see Fans Lists for Facebook fan pages with the same ability to post content to select lists. I can only imagine that once people see the utility on the individual side, demand will grow for adding the same features to fan pages.

Facebook’s Privacy Transition Tool:

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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