Facebook Serves up More Control

Facebook announced many changes today, all of which are ones we have long waited for. The biggest news of the day was the fact that they are giving us the ability to download all of OUR information. You are now able to quickly download everything – your messages, Wall posts, photos, status updates and profile information. To protect your information, this feature is only available after confirming your password and answering appropriate security questions. You’ll access this new feature in your Account Settings area.

I think that the biggest – and best – news of the day is the new Groups feature. You can now easily control which friends see what information by using the overhauled Groups system. You want to post those drunken vacation pictures, but you don’t want your boss to see them. That’s simple – add the people you want to see to a particular group and only share those photos with them. In his post today, Zuckerberg says that he feels this particular service will “change the way you use Facebook and the web.”

From this space, you can quickly post photos, make plans and keep up with ongoing conversations. You can also group chat with members who are online right now. You can even use each group as an email list to quickly share things when you’re not on Facebook. The net effect is your whole experience is organized around spaces of the people you care most about.

Now this is social done right, in my opinion. Facebook is finally giving us the control we so desperately wanted – and need. It’s up to you who sees your information. It’s up to you to choose whether grandma can see the snapshots from the bar last Friday, or whether your friends would care to see the latest news from your company. Create Groups for the very different groups of people in your circle, and dole out information to those who truly want to share in each aspect of your life.