By now you know that Facebook is adopting a new Terms of Service and new Privacy Policies – which also take away your voting rights as a user. But the polls are closed and there’s nothing left to be done, except get used to the how the future features will function.
Facebook has already started educating users on new privacy settings and how they will work. “Today’s updates include Privacy Shortcuts, an easier-to-use Activity Log, and a new Request and Removal tool for managing multiple photos you’re tagged in,” a newsroom announcement says. “We also adding new in-product education that makes key concepts around controlling your sharing clearer, such as in-context reminders about how stuff you hide from Timeline may still appear in news feed, search, and other places.”
Right now, this is what it looks like when you navigate to your Privacy Settings:
Once you select Privacy Settings, you’re bounced into the management area, which is a bit wonky and indirect for a few reasons, although it’s overall a much better version than we formerly had at our disposal.
And here is how it will look once the update hits (click to see a larger view):
As you can see, a lock icon surfaces “Who can see my stuff?,” “Who can contact me?,” and “How do I stop someone from bothering me?” From here, you can also choose to go through all your settings, but Facebook is apparently trying to put front and center some of the more necessary functions. When you select to dive deeper into your settings, it’s unclear if you will be greeted by the current management center or not.
The Activity Log is also getting a refresh. Here’s how it looks right now:
And here’s what the new Activity Log will look like:
It will have the same Timeline format that we see on our profiles right now. It also surfaces information specifically much better than it used to. You can see content categories, (like what photos tagged of you are public, or embarrassing Spotify listens) more easily thanks to the left-hand sidebar navigation. Obviously, this format also means you can jump around by year or month much more easily.
Better yet, you can mass edit all this data with the coming update. Want to untag a great many photos from your college days? You can even request that someone take down multiple photos of you if you’re really in dire straits. Right now, it’s an upsettingly manual process, and this does wonders for streamlining it. For that, Facebook, thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you!
App Permission screens will be tweaked as well. What an app reads from your data and what it writes on your behalf will now be shown to you in different pop-ups. Here’s the new read language:
And the new write language:
The reasoning, according to Facebook, is so we can deny and allow certain parts of an app. “For example, a person can grant a music app the ability to read their public profile and friends lists to personalize their experience, in the app, but decline to allow it to post what they listen to to Facebook on their behalf.”
Also added are in-product education alerts. This means when you take action to hide something on your Timeline, Facebook will clarify what exactly that means – oftentimes it means that content can be found in a variety of other ways, and Facebook will tell you so.
Here’s the message you get right now when you hide something from Timeline:
Here’s what you’ll see from now on:
Do you think Facebook is doing enough to educate users and keep your data safe? Facebook says the new privacy settings will be rolling out at the end of 2012 … which is right about now, isn’t it? Expect to see all the above changes hit your account in the near future.