Will Facebook own the web… and you?

Facebook recently announced a feature that will give it a reach way beyond the boundaries of its own social media emporium: a “like” button that will appear on sites on the internet.
Basically, users will be able to like content, sites etc. that they visit and share this info immediately on their Facebook pages.
This effectively bridges the gap between Facebook and the outside world, but not in the way that other big internet players, say Google intended. 

For them, Facebook has always been a blind spot as the data stored on the Facebook servers stayed on the Facebook servers and was tightly firewalled from the outside.  This blind spot kept on growing (Facebook now has about 500 million profiles!) and Google’s attempts at countering this by launching their own social media projects such as Google Buzz, OpenSocial and Google Friend Connect have failed so far (just ask anyone if they’ve even heard of these sites).

It will be interesting to see how Twitter will counter this (i.e. with a “Retweet” button on the sites), but my guess is that in this game, size does matter (Twitter has approx 100 million profiles).

Now, next to “owning” the web, Facebook is moving quite fast on the whole privacy rollercoaster.  In the past, attempts from Mark Zuckerberg’s legions to “play” with your privacy on the site was countered with strong resistance from the community, but it seems that this time, with the new systems of “connections” it will become increasingly more difficult to control who can see what (and more importantly, what 3rd party application builders can do with your data).
In the past, 3rd party applications could only hold on to your data for 24 hours, but that has changed, making them prime targets for hackers that are after your Facebook identity (and who don’t want to take on the hordes of security engineers at Facebook).
Next to that, if you do want to have further control over your privacy, make sure you have lots of black coffee and start reading and executing some of the privacy tips on sites like lifehacker.com.

So, as with all of the online media, the golden rule still remains: if you don’t want to have your data disclosed, don’t put it online.  It’s as simple as that… unless you want to keep on playing FarmVille…

Share This Post


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *