Facebook has changed its privacy controls to allow users to choose exactly what they share and with whom.
Mark Slee, Facebook engineer, claimed that previously, the privacy rulings focused on enabling users to allow access to their profile to people confirmed as friends and people in networks.
However he explained that following user feedback, many people wanted parts of the profile to be opened to a wider audience, so users can now make their profile and any of their content available to everyone on Facebook.
Slee said: “None of your existing privacy settings have changed. This is an additional setting for those of you who wish to share with a broader audience. By changing your profile setting to ‘Everyone', anyone who finds you through a search on Facebook or sees a post or comment you make can now click on your content and view the elements of your profile you've opted to make open.
“While some special rules remain in place about who can see your profile if you are a minor, people generally won't need to be friends with you or share a common network in order to view your content if you choose the new ‘Everyone' setting.
“In the past, searching for friends you haven't seen in a while or someone who has a common name may have been difficult. You may have only been able to see their search listing and a small thumbnail version of a photo, if that. With this change, people can use the ‘Everyone' option and make it easier for you to find and connect to all the people you know.”
Slee asked for responses, but most people claimed that they did not like the new homepage style – which resembles the micro-blogging site Twitter – and asked for changes to be made to revert to previous designs.
One user named ‘Kristen', said: “I just got on Facebook a few weeks ago and was just figuring it out, and then you change it and not for the better. I have noticed a decline in usership just amongst my friends because it complicated and confusing. We are the ‘over 40' bunch and are proud of ourselves for even being ‘hip' enough to have FB accounts, but now we are going to have to rethink it because the changes have made it too frustrating and we don't get to see the postings like we used to.”