Posted July 2, 2009 3:32 pm by with 2 comments

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Last week, we saw that Facebook was taking status updates public for selected test users (a la Twitter). Those selected users were ones that had already set their profiles to a high level of sharing—everyone could see their profiles already.

Now Facebook will make it so that all users will have a very granular control over exactly what gets shared with whom.
facebook privacy 3
These settings can be applied on a message-by-message basis, but there will also be changes to the full privacy settings for every member. As paidContent points out this will eliminate the need to view at least six pages of privacy settings.

And now Facebook announces that they’ll be rolling out this change to the full site very shortly:
facebook privacy 1

To make it easy for users to set their profiles’ level of “openness,” Facebook will be using a transition tool. Here’s the first step:
facebook privacy 2

While some argue that Facebook is forcing us to be more public, these settings are too complex and the publisher settings should list “custom” first, overall, I think simplifying privacy settings and making them easier to set will help. The transition tool will force users who normally don’t change the default privacy settings to think about how much they want to share, at least once.

The full presentation (via David Berkowitz):

What do you think? Is this a step forward or backward for privacy on (and off) Facebook?