I tried to defect from Facebook, but they kept pulling me back. Now that I’ve seen The Social Network, and two incredibly cool new additions to the site, Facebook Groups and Data Portability, I don’t think I’ll ever leave.
- Facebook Groups
- Data Portability
- What it all means
With the new Groups design, users can customize their online experience on the public site with private group options. Anyone on Facebook can create a group. Then they have the option to make the group “Open,” “Closed” or “Secret.” The great thing about this feature is your privacy settings are maintained and only friends can add you to a group.
Other great things about the new Groups feature is the ability to create Group Docs that can be edited and viewed by all group members, as well as the Group Chat function that allows users in the same group to have an open discussion, (individual or private chats are still restricted to Friends so group members who are not friends are only able to chat within the public group chat).
Some not so great things about the new Groups design: it opens up the possibility of cyberbullying, which flies in the face of efforts like the It Gets Better Project, a series of video messages created to encourage GLBT individuals in crisis.
With the ability to create exclusive and secret groups, it’s hard to exercise control over targeted acts of meanness. We’ll see what happens though.
The Facebook Help Center provides details about the new Groups design including how to create and join a group, or leave and delete one.
Raise your hand if “data portability” translates to I can get it on my phone.
Yeah. My hand is up, too. But that’s not what it means.
Data portability means a copy of your carefully crafted Friends list, Groups, Wall Posts and Photo Albums can be accessed outside of Facebook.
According to AllFacebook.com, the feature creates a mini website on your own computer that allows you to click through, view and access all your profile data, messages, pictures, and more.
What It All Means
Overall, the new Groups design and data portability means Facebook is still growing and changing. (To quote the movie, “It’s like fashion. It’s never finished.”)
More specifically, it means users will have more control over what we can do with the information we share on the site and with whom we share it within the walls of the site.