Today has been a big day for social media news! Facebook, the worlds largest social network, is pushing out massive changes to how users manage privacy on the site. Announced in a blog post, the changes range from clearer control over who sees individual updates to approval features that allow you to manage what other people put on your profile.
Complaints about Facebook’s privacy controls have never been lacking, and even seeded Facebook alternatives such as Diaspora and AnyBeat. Google+’s successful launch and it’s intuitive approach to privacy on a post-by-post basis just exasperated the situation for Facebook.
As well as these privacy changes, Facebook is discontinuing it’s location-based service Places. In it’s place will be a much deeper location integration that moves away from the Foursquare ‘Check In’ in favour of including location in status updates and photos with location tags. Rather than only in a standalone service, location is now a core part of every Facebook action (although it can still be turned off).
The move is clever as it will expand Facebook’s potential to provide more relevant, location-based advertising across the site. The site’s location-based deals offering will also become more integrated with the changes. If someone checks into a location offering a check-in deal, the offer will show just below the newsfeed story.
All these changes just show how deeply ingrained social media is becoming in our daily lives. This is a unique opportunity for brands to engage in the online social media community and utilise the targeted nature of location-aware marketing.