These planned changes are a result of collaborative discussions we've had with the Office of the Privacy... Commissioner of Canada, which has spent more than a year reviewing Facebook's privacy policies and controls. You can read more about their announcement here. If you are a developer, you can read more about the potential impact for applications here.
The improvements we announced today are in addition to the tests we began in July of simpler privacy settings and tools for migrating people to the new controls. Those tests continue and we hope to roll them out to more of you in the coming months.
Giving people more control over what information they share and with whom is at the heart of how we think about privacy at Facebook. As people better understand how information is shared and gain more control over it, they become more comfortable and confident in sharing—whether it be photos of a vacation or a status update about how they're feeling today. As we complete these improvements in the coming months, we'll continue to share more details with you.
Tim Sparapani is director of public policy at Facebook.
- by Tim Sparapani on Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 7:08am
- Topics: Privacy
- by Xenia Nosov on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 12:02pmThe following is part of our series, Facebook Tips, which answers some of the most commonly asked questions about using Facebook. While we hope the tips we share on the blog will be informative, remember that we are unable to answer individual questions here. We'll always direct you to the Help Center for additional information about the topics we cover.
Have you ever received a friend request from someone you didn't know or with whom you had second thoughts about being friends, such as the student you never spoke with but sat in front of during... class? Luckily, if you want to decline a friend request or remove someone from your Facebook Friend List, you can do so without attracting attention.
When you receive a friend request from people you don't wish to be friends with, you can decline by simply selecting "Ignore." Doing so will remove the request from your Requests list. They will not be notified that their friend request was declined, but they will be able to send you another friend request in the future.
If you take no action on the request they've sent you, they will not be able send you another friend request. You will appear instead as a pending friend request when they view you in Search or elsewhere on the site until you either accept or ignore the request.
You can always remove people as friends by scrolling down to the bottom left side of their Facebook profiles. Select the link "Remove from Friends." Your former friends will not be notified, but they will be removed from your Friend List and you will be reciprocally removed from their list. If you change your mind, you'll have to go through the process of requesting their friendship again.
Xenia, a specialist in Facebook user operations, loves getting friend requests from people she knows in real life.
- by Sara Lannin on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 4:36pmThe following is part of our series on different ways Facebook is used across the world. Read the previous blog post in this series here. If you have a story you'd like to share with us, please submit it here.
Moving to another country can be a difficult challenge for anyone, but leaving behind one's friends and familiar surroundings is particularly hard as a first-time mother affected by postnatal depression. When faced with this scenario in 2006, Carly Gardiner of the United Kingdom turned to Facebook to draw support from other mothers living... around her new home.
Carly had moved from the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh, to Yeovil, a small town in Somerset, England, located nearly eight hours to the south by car. After connecting with a few local mothers in the area, she began to overcome some of her feelings of loneliness and isolation of being in a new place. Eager to foster relationships with her new friends, Carly created a Facebook group to coordinate informal events with her fellow "Yeovil Mums and Mummies to Be." The fledgling group originally had just six members, but quickly blossomed into a forum of advice and support for more than 227 women.
Today, the group holds a variety of events for mothers and their children in the Yeovil area, including weekly trivia gatherings, live chats, charity events, nights out for mothers and fun days for kids. The success of the original "Mums and Mummies to Be" group has resulted in the creation of two additional groups devoted to specific interest areas — one for diet and exercise, and another that hosts a baby-of-the-month contest.
With millions of mothers like Carly joining Facebook, we continue to be inspired by the ingenious and meaningful ways they foster real-life connections with the people around them
Sara, an intern on the communications team, is sending her mom a message on Facebook.
- by Brynn Shepherd on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 2:06pm
The most important part of organizing any event is making sure you invite the right people. For example, if you're planning a birthday party, you might want to invite the same friends who went to a fun BBQ the weekend before. To enable this, we recently added the ability to invite friends to an event based on who was invited to past events you've attended.
This new feature of Facebook Events works by allowing you to filter your friends by recent events. When inviting friends to a new Facebook event, click on the tab labeled "Filter Friends" in... the upper-left corner. The drop-down menu will display the five most recent events you either created or attended in the past month.
When you click on one of these events, you will see all of your friends that were invited to that event, regardless of whether they actually attended. Keep in mind that only your confirmed friends with will appear in this selection. If 50 people were invited to last weekend's BBQ but you are only Facebook friends with 20 of them, you will only see those 20 people.
From this selection, you can invite people individually or click "Select All." Then select "Send Invitations" at the bottom of the field.
With this new filter, we hope you will be able to organize even more events and invite the best mix of people.
Brynn Shepherd, a product design intern from the University of Pennsylvania, is excited that the feature she built this summer is now live.
- Topics: Events
- by Michael Gummelt on Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 5:34pm
Many people have asked us to make Facebook and Twitter work better together for those times when they want to share their content as widely as possible. We agree. Over the next few days, we will be releasing a feature that allows administrators of Facebook Pages to publish their Facebook updates to their Twitter accounts automatically. This will only link Facebook Pages to Twitter, not your individual profile.
Public figures, musicians, businesses and organizations of all types who've created Facebook Pages often want to share a status update, a... photo or an event with as many of their supporters as possible. Celebrities may want to share personal news or charities may want to put out calls for help to both their Facebook fans and their Twitter followers, all at the same time.
If you manage a Facebook Page, you now will be able to decide whether to share updates with their Twitter followers, and you also will be able to control what type of updates to share: status updates, links, photos, notes, events or all of them. If you have multiple Pages, you will have the option to link each of those Pages to different Twitter accounts. This new feature will soon be available at http://www.facebook.com/twitter.
A number of celebrities and organizations on Facebook are already using this feature to publish the content on their Facebook Page to Twitter and reach a wider audience. They include Dane Cook, LIVESTRONG, The World Wildlife Fund, and the NBA, WNBA and D-League.
We are always looking to make it easy for you to use Facebook with your favorite websites and applications. Facebook Connect allows you to bring your Facebook profile with you across the Web. We recently worked with Yahoo to integrate your Facebook experience into Yahoo's new homepage; we've built our own Firefox and iPhone applications in-house; and we built tools to help you bring your content from YouTube, Hulu and other sites into your Facebook profile.
Twitter was a natural next step to link with Facebook Pages because it is a powerful tool for broadcasting short messages widely.
I was able to build this new feature from start to finish as a summer engineering intern. Next month I'll head back to school, but I'm excited to see my work here live on through all of the people who now will both share on Facebook and tweet on Twitter right from their Facebook Pages.
Let us know if there are other websites you'd like to work better with Facebook. Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to build it when I return next summer.
Michael is getting ready to return to Stanford University for his junior year.
- Topics: Pages
- by Arianna Huffington on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 6:00amArianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of 12 books. With HuffPost launching a new social news feature today using Facebook Connect, we asked her to share her perspective on the ways social media is shaping the future of news.
Despite all the current hand-wringing about the dire state of newspapers, we are actually in the midst of a Golden Age for news consumers. We can surf the net, use search engines, access the best stories from around the world, and... interact by commenting and forming communities.
The days of publishing pooh-bahs dictating to us what's important and what's not are over. We now can get the news we want, when we want it, how we want it and where we want it.
The Web has given us control over the news we consume. Now the explosive growth of online social networking is fundamentally changing our relationship with news as well. It's no longer something we passively take in. We now engage with news, react to news and share news.
News has become an important element of community—something around which we gather, connect and converse. We all are part of the evolution of a story now—expanding it with comments and links to relevant information, adding facts and differing points of view.
In short, the news has become social. And it will become even more community-powered: stories will be collaboratively produced by editors and the community, and conversations, opinion, and reader reactions will be seamlessly integrated into the news experience.
I've always been obsessed with news. As the daughter of a newspaperman, I grew up with the smell of newsprint and the buzz of breaking news. I've also always enjoyed bringing people together from different parts of my life and facilitating interesting conversations. In the past, these have taken place around dinner tables, on group hikes or at book parties. Now, via cyberspace, those conversations have gone global. And they are happening in real time.
One of the reasons we launched The Huffington Post was to enhance and facilitate those conversations. While our goal was to create a one-stop spot for news and opinion with an attitude, community has always been a key element of the site.
The launch of HuffPost Social News today brings together my two loves: nonstop news and the passionate discussion of the news with my friends.
Using Facebook Connect, HuffPost Social News weaves the news and opinion of HuffPost with the social capabilities of Facebook. It connects HuffPost users to their Facebook friends, the news they are reading, and the stories they are commenting on.
Want to know what your friends are reading? Check out their Facebook-powered stream on HuffPost and the personalized Social News widget that appears as you navigate the site. Want to see your friends' comments above the thousands of strangers commenting on a story? Log in to HuffPost Social News using Facebook Connect and that happens automatically.
HuffPost Social News also taps into another big trend I see emerging in news: personalization. People connect to each other using their real identities and have real conversations.
HuffPost Social News is just one early piece of the social transformation of the news industry. We will be adding more social features and personalization in the coming months, and I expect to see news organizations around the world doing the same. The news is simply more interesting and engaging when we experience it with friends.
Arianna hopes you'll sign up and join the conversation about news.
- by Adam Conner on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 11:53amUPDATE on Monday, August 31: The updated Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is now live in five languages. You can find the English version here and stay informed about future updates here.
UPDATE on Wednesday, August 12: Based on requests we've received, you can now view and download a redlined version of the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities that reflects all of the proposed changes here. Remember to post your comments and feedback before 10:00 a.m. PDT on August 18.
The proposed SRR we're announcing today mostly includes clarifying changes and minor updates. We encourage you to read the revised SRR in its entirety on the Facebook Site Governance Page, where you can review the changes and give us your comments. Please take a look and provide your feedback before 10:00 a.m. PDT on August 18.
While we're announcing today's proposed changes on the Facebook blog, the best way to ensure that you continue to receive updates on future site governance changes is to become a fan of the Site Governance Page.
Adam, an associate on the public policy team, is awaiting your comments.
- by Akhil Wable on Monday, August 10, 2009 at 3:50pm
Last month, we began testing new versions of Search with a small group of people on Facebook. Based on the success of those tests, we're rolling out a new version of Search to everyone on the site beginning today.
You now will be able to search the last 30 days of your News Feed for status updates, photos, links, videos and notes being shared by your friends and the Facebook Pages of which you're a fan. If people have chosen to make their content available to everyone, you also will be able to search for their status updates, links and notes,... regardless of whether or not you are friends. Search results will continue to include people's profiles as well as relevant Facebook Pages, groups and applications.
To search for a particular term, just enter your query in the search box in the upper-right corner of any page. Once you're taken to the search results, use the filters on the left-hand side of the page to view only posts by friends or posts by everyone. If you're searching for a specific person, Page, group or application, you also can filter by those results.
By being able to search more types of content that are being shared on the site, you can easily find out your friends' evening plans and recently frequented restaurants by searching for "dinner," discover which of your friends are following Michael Schumacher's comeback during the "Formula 1" season by searching for the race series, or query "economy" to see if people or your favorite news sources feel that the recession is turning around. You also can search for a company or product to learn what people are saying about that brand.
Earlier today, I used Facebook Search to get the latest about our recent acquisition of FriendFeed, an innovative service for sharing online. When I enter "FriendFeed" in the "Search" field in the upper-right hand corner of any page on Facebook, I get the most recent status updates, reactions and news from my friends who work in technology and people who have chosen to make their content available to everyone. I also can find the official FriendFeed Page on Facebook and user groups related to FriendFeed.
Remember that you can always control what content you're sharing in other people's search results by editing your privacy settings here.
We hope that these improvements to Search will help you connect with and find information about the people and things you care about more easily. We're rolling these changes out over the course of the next few days, so you may not see the new results just yet.
Akhil, an engineering manager, is searching for what his friends are saying about the new Facebook Search.
- Topics: Search
- by Shaykt Chaudhri on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 4:25pm
When I found out this past spring that I'd be a product marketing intern at Facebook for the summer, I was eager to start working on cool projects at one of the most exciting companies in Silicon Valley. I never imagined that in my first week I'd have the opportunity to have an even broader impact by being asked to work with dozens of technology start-ups through the fbFund REV program.
REV is an incubator program for 24 companies building new applications for you on the Facebook Platform, ranging from an application devoted to helping people ...run errands more efficiently to one that is devoted to finding work for people in third-world countries.
Over the past couple of months, I've worked with the companies as they experiment and iterate on the development of new applications and build their businesses— all from one of Facebook's former offices in downtown Palo Alto, Calif. Most importantly, the environment spurs learning and innovation.
For instance, one of the companies in the program, GeckoGo, is building an application that helps people plan their upcoming travel. While designing the application, GeckoGo's founders realized they needed to make it more engaging and turned to other entrepreneurs and advisers in the REV program for advice on how to simplify the design of their product and better solicit feedback from users. After a series of changes, people began spending significantly more time with their application. Another company, Frintro, is trying to find new ways to connect your single friends with one another by asking its users to make introductions from their different friend groups.
Together, we have a small community that provides powerful advice and learnings around product development and marketing, not to mention the daily struggles of starting a company.Along with meetings among the entrepreneurs and developers , the program also has experts from all over Silicon Valley visit REV to share their perspectives on building a company — on everything from funding the business and building user-friendly features to giving a good presentation. Many of the topics I'm studying as a business school student at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, like how to run an operationally lean company and how to market your company's products, were brought to life through the REV program.
I'm constantly surprised by all that I learn from the REV developers and can't wait for you to try all of the applications. For more information about the products that the teams are developing, check out the fbFund REV website and Facebook Page.
Shaykat, an intern for the fbFund REV program, doesn't want the summer to end.
- by Scott Mills on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at 11:04amConstable Scott Mills has served as a police officer with the Toronto Police Service in Canada since 2002. His current role is Community Youth Officer for the Toronto Crime Stoppers program, where he works to build healthy relationships between young people, community members and the police department. We've asked Scott to share his experiences using Facebook to fight crime by connecting with the community.
There's no doubt that Facebook has revolutionized the act of sharing and communicating with friends. Often overlooked, however, is the... impact these tools can have on public safety. Because community engagement is critical to effective law enforcement, police officers must be where the people are, and these days, the people are on Facebook.
For the last two years, I have used my Facebook account, as well as Facebook groups, events and Pages, to inform Toronto residents about crimes in their area and encourage them to provide anonymous tips. Messages can be broadcast quickly and easily to wide audiences with immediate feedback. Outreach through Facebook has helped Toronto Crime Stoppers sniff out threats against local schools, bring much needed help to people at risk of committing suicide, warn the public about criminals on the loose and even locate missing persons.
In addition to enabling us to gather tips more efficiently and effectively, Facebook also has helped us build a stronger, more meaningful connection with the community we serve. My department runs programs aimed at keeping kids off the street and away from trouble. These programs include presentations at local schools, Bicycle Moto-Cross (BMX) camps, legal graffiti competitions and dance contests. Through photos, videos and links, Facebook has allowed us to promote these programs to those who need them most, which will hopefully lead to fewer people getting involved with crime because of boredom or lack of options.
I'm proud of the work we've done and passionate about the potential for tools like Facebook to aid law enforcement. Policymakers and police officers from around the world still have a lot to learn about how to use social media to build connections to enlist the public in preventing and solving crimes, but police departments in cities around the world are starting to take notice. Last fall, at a conference hosted by the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in Johannesburg, South Africa, the group's Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said:
People routinely use the Internet to find former classmates or individuals with similar interests.... there is no reason why law enforcement should not use this same resource to find fugitives or encourage members of the public to use social networking sites to report sightings of criminals.
Recently, police departments — in municipalities as large as Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada and as small as Brunswick, Maine in the U.S. — have created presences on Facebook to communicate more efficiently with the public. I'm happy to see this trend develop across Canada and around the world, including in the U.S. where the municipality of Boston is now using social media to track down stolen bikes. We'll continue to work hard to make sure law enforcement is taking full advantage of today's communication tools. All of us can do our part by using the Internet not just to keep up with friends but also to help keep our communities safe.
Scott Mills is asking for your help through a Facebook status update.
Most Popular Stories
- Help Center
- Facebook Security
- Facebook Developers Blog
- Facebook Engineering
- Facebook Ads
- Facebook Marketing Solutions
Looking for a specific post? Visit our full archive of blog posts sorted by categories and dates.