It’s been a big few days for location-based service Foursquare, which just hit 3 million users and also became the centerpiece of this gigantic advertising ziggurat in Times Square. It’s unclear what kind of deal made this ad happen, since it seems unlikely Foursquare could afford such a high-profile placement. On his blog, Foursquare’s Tristan Walker thanks the sign’s owner, apparel company American Eagle, but also says the ad was designed by Foursquare’s own designer, Mari Sheibley (aka, the woman who draws the badges). If it’s true, as reported by Mashable, that no money changed hands, this could be a sign of a growing partnership between American Eagle and Foursquare, or that American Eagle sees a lot of value in getting more people checking in (the retailer offers a 15 percent discount for Foursquare users). Either way, it’s a huge publicity boost for a service with competitors ranging from the scrappy Gowalla to Facebook, a site whose users outnumber 167 to 1.
Privacy has always been a source of controversy for Facebook as the social network has had to deal with criticism regarding its allegedly shady dealings handling members’ information.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook acknowledged this criticism and said it had made improvements. The company, which
has more than 500 million users worldwide, is making it easier for members to know where their stuff is going. Facebook
Previously, users had to go to a privacy settings page. Now, they can personally privatize everything on their page with a scroll-down option next to everything that’s on the profile or everything posted.
The changes, which will start rolling out in the coming days, will be introduced to users through a guided post. They involve wholesale changes for each member’s profile as well as stuff that is tagged about everyone.
We hope these new tools make it easier to share with exactly who you want, and that the resulting experience is a lot clearer and a lot more fun,” Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president for products, said in the blog.
Here are five things to know about the new Facebook Privacy settings.
- Personalized Profile Settings:Everything on your profile from your hometown to your latest photo album, will appear next to an icon and a drop-down menu. This menu will let you decide who sees this information: the public, friends or a custom group. Taking a page from Google+’s book, the drop-down will expand over time and include certain groups of friends. If you want to post a place where you’re going and only want a group to see it – you can do that.
- Settings Page: The previous settings page, which acted as a place where all of your privacy was controlled, will now be reduced. Since everything is going inline, there’s much less of a need for this settings page to have a bunch of controls.
- Photos: Before, any time someone posted a photo of you or a post with you in it, it went up automatically. If it was a photo of you naked, it went up. Now? You can change your settings to make every photo or post have to get your approval before going up. Also, before you couldn’t tag someone you weren’t friends with on Facebook. Now you can.
- View Profile As: This tool was hidden on the old privacy settings page and let you see how certain other people could see your profile. It’s now in an obvious place on your profile.
- Language: Facebook is changing the “everyone” setting to “public.” There’s a difference according to Cox. “Anyone may see it, but not everyone will see it,” he said in the post.