With a slew of new changes to Facebook announced in the past few weeks, there was bound to be some criticism, confusion and conflicting opinions about ways people are sharing online and what many of the new apps mean for users. Today we want to address a few interesting articles from GigaOM and Poynter. These articles highlight the rapid growth of “frictionless sharing” and why it is the future of people’s social networking activities. Frictionless sharing means that apps from services like Spotify and different publishing companies, such as The Washington Post, are now able to post users’ activities to their walls, without asking permission every time, and therefore making people’s online activities that much more public. With the prevalence of these new apps, there is a great deal of controversy about whether or not these features are a better way for people to stay connected, or if they are a huge breach of privacy.
While some may argue that this is an invasion of privacy that no one has asked for, others may say that “Facebook isn’t forcing anyone to share; it’s simply adapting to the increasingly social way that we are living our lives online.” However, it seems that the main reason that people are frustrated with this new frictionless sharing is that users may not be aware that they are enabling these new apps and end up sharing more than they thought.
It seems that there is a difference between sharing too much, sharing so much that no one really pays attention, or sharing information that is actually interesting or helpful to people. Ultimately, users – especially younger ones such as teens and even underage kids technically not allowed on the site – need to stay as up-to-date as possible on new features as they roll out, and also try to maintain the most secure and safe privacy settings as possible. Social networks, especially Facebook, are constantly changing and users will have the ability to make public more and more personal information with the addition of other apps and sharing features. Staying on top of these features and updating privacy settings are the best and most effective ways to avoid oversharing and online reputation damage, and is especially important for networks’ youngest users who begin their online citizenship at such an early age.
How do you and your kids stay informed about new changes and features on social networks like Facebook?