Category Archives: Web Applications

Facebook is now “Trending”?

OK, I always seem to go on a rant about Facebook’s new features when released. Some are good, some not so good but one new feature they released earlier this month is “trending” content. This can be popular articles that are posted by Facebook users (trending articles), popular videos (trending videos), you get the picture.

This is obviously designed to resurface interesting or popular content to people who might find it interesting, but really at least recently it almost feels like Facebook are trying harder and harder to be more like twitter.

Facebook’s goal is to connect yourself with the people around you for a more connected world. I guess they are now trying to connect you with news stories instead of your friends? A few quick searches across Google reveal that lots of people are pretty annoyed with trending articles, lots of ‘how do I disable trending articles’ sites out there. It will be interesting to see how well this does, if Facebook refine this idea more or if they remove it entirely.


Facebook: Is It Really All That Private?

If you are a frequent user of Facebook you’ll understand when I say that more often than not Facebook just gets up and changes with little to no warning beforehand. Much of its UI changes frequently and maybe more concerning its privacy settings seem to change and go one way, then change back, then do something different again. As Users it can be difficult for us to figure out who can actually see my content I post on Facebook.

This month, Facebook had another change to its privacy. This time around their posting system. There are now three new buttons added to the standard post box.

  1. Who are you with?
  2. Where are you?
  3. Who can see the post?

Facebook's new privacy settings on the post screen 
The first two buttons to the left of the post in my opinion really didn’t need to be added. These days a big deal has been made about protecting children online and offering a way for kids using Facebook to post content attaching who of their friends is currently with them and where they actually are screams stalker! If anyone has ever stalked anybody on Facebook, to them these new features must be a godsend.

The last change they made to be fair is actually a decent idea. Giving users the ability to select who can view each post as they are actually writing each post is a good idea. Sometimes I may want to write something just to my friends without broadcasting my thoughts to the world so being able to select only my friends can view this post is great. When I want to share with the world, I can just flick it to say ‘Everybody’ and I’m good to go.

I’m not a Facebook hater, I am an active Facebook user and yes the world would be a fairly different place without it, I just don’t agree on many of their privacy settings they currently use. The lesson learned from using online social networks is that anything you post, even if you think only your friends can see it, assume EVERYBODY can see it!

A little bit of caution online can go a long way.