Facebook Privacy Update: You Know Who Your Friends Are

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Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, last week posted a note to the social network's 350 million members explaining the changes that would be coming to the social network, changes that include eliminating regional networks. The updated privacy functionality will allow users to specify who can see each piece of content uploaded to the social network.

Facebook is balancing its own desire to become more relevant to search engines like Google and Bing while also respecting the privacy of individual users. The enhanced privacy features on Facebook will allow users to decide who can see what. For example, users can upload a photo of themselves and mark it as friends only; meanwhile, a link to a story about the future of journalism can be shared with publicly.

In that sense, Facebook is aiming to become more like Twitter, which provides a mostly public place for advertisers to find target demographics and allows search engines to index information in realtime. With 350 million users across the world, it is clear that this could be a huge growth opportunity for Facebook.

Of course, completely throwing the doors open on the social network isn't really an option unless Zuckerberg and company want its users to flee the site, regardless of the money-making opportunities that may exist. Instead, implementing a simplified yet still sophisticated set of privacy features -- which this update seems to be -- lets both users of Facebook and Facebook itself to meet somewhere in the middle.

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Still, that in no way means that every individual user will be savvy enough to use the privacy setting. But for other social media junkies who are interested in sharing some information while keeping other things private, these security updates from Facebook may provide a balance that accommodates everyone.