Is social media past its prime? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks the needs of SoMe users are changing. Because of this, the popular social media site is taking a look at how to increase Facebook user privacy.
People are looking to connect in the world’s virtual “living room,” whereas Facebook is is more of a “town square” experience in present. Here are the changes Zuckerberg is looking to make.
Increasing Facebook User Privacy
The latest set of changes announced by Zuckerberg in a post on Wednesday reflects the change in the behavior of social media users. In the post, Facebook’s creator and CEO said his main focus since the launch of the site has been addressing the needs of users on the site. Zuckerberg stated:
Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room. As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.
Changes Being Made
Later in his post, Zuckerberg went on to detail specific changes the platform is expecting to make. Here is how he outlined them.
- Private interactions. Everyone should have the ability to easily communicate in a private space where no one else can see what they share. For this, Facebook executives are focusing on the development of WhatsApp to create a place where users can privately chat.
- Encryption. Facebook developers will be working on integrating end-to-end encryption within its apps. All private communications (messages and calls) will be secured. Zuckerberg noted there will be challenges in keeping those who desire to do bad to not use encrypted messaging to do any harm. However, with time, this will add to the overall user experience, safety, and privacy.
- Safety. Facebook aims to do everything it can to keep users safe while using its services, within the limits of the encrypted service.
- Reducing permanent posts. Messages and stories won’t be available forever. Social media has a way of creeping up on people. So, anything shared to stories or via message won’t be available any longer than you want them to be.
- Inoperability. Right now, if you want to message someone on Instagram, you have to direct message them. On Facebook, you use Messenger. In WhatsApp, you use the app. Facebook is hoping to integrate these platforms in a way where you can communicate seamlessly (and securely) between the apps.
- Secure data storage. Zuckerberg points out in the post that the best way to secure your data is not to store it. Plain and simple. For this reason, Zuckerberg and his team have decided not to store encryption keys on any of their sites moving forward.
Can Social Media Really Be ‘Private?’
Both Facebook and its sister site Instagram have helped millions of people connect with friends, family, and different communities around the world. Since its launch, Facebook has been a public platform. More recently, its users have begun to shift their desire to more private, intimate communications.
Zuckerberg plans to make the changes mentioned above because he believes privacy-focused communication is the future of social media platforms like Facebook. However, he isn’t ignorant to the irony of Facebook focusing on privacy either.
I understand that many people don’t think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform — because frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services, and we’ve historically focused on tools for more open sharing. But we’ve repeatedly shown that we can evolve to build the services that people really want, including in private messaging and stories.I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever. This is the future I hope we will help bring about.
Facebook Stock Performance
Facebook Inc. (FB) closed the day on Wednesday, March 6 at $172.51 (+1.25). This is a six-month high on the stock market for the social media website. After recent privacy scandals, it seems Facebook may have finally found a way to recover: focus on regaining the confidence of its users.
Readers, what do you think about the latest changes to increase Facebook user privacy?