Facebook is rolling out new ways to access your privacy settings along with a new feature called Graph Search. The changes could fundamentally alter how you use Facebook and what it means to you.
Facebook changes? Commence panic! No, wait! Hold your panic.
This week’s changes actually make getting control of what people see about you a little bit easier. Finding information you want to know about other people and places just got easier too.
A new way to monitor your privacy settings is being rolled out this week, shortly behind the announcement of Graph Search, which is still in beta, though you can request an invite. The Graph Search feature I’m most excited about is the ability to search by location. More than once, I’ve thought, Iknow I know someone who lives in the city I’m about to visit, but I just can’t remember who it is, and I’ve seen posts from others saying things like, “Does anybody live in Chicago? I’m looking for a place to…” and so forth. Graph Search will show you that, as well as facts in common like those who share interests, worked at the same place, or went to the same school. If you haven’t gotten in the beta, you can see a preview of some of the features on the Graph Search information page.
Graph Search has the potential to change how you’re using Facebook and what the site means to you, while the new privacy settings give you some control over how others do the same with your information. It gives Facebook a greater opportunity to be a source of future information instead of a source for what happened yesterday. Graph Search makes it easier to ask your friends who will know best, “Where should I have pizza in Chicago?” or “Do I actually know anyone who’s heard of this obscure band that’s coming to town?” It opens Facebook’s massive stores of content so they’re useful to you and not just Facebook’s ad-sales department.