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Born-again Facebook

With Marshal John Mdeda:

The Facebook, a software tool for college students to share campus experiences, extended its open-world philosophy when it extended its invitation to the public domain in 2005 and became Facebook.

With its popular greeting “what’s on your mind”, Facebook seemed to have disdain for privacy and appeared to have been convincing people to share everything on a global village square.

Perhaps that was understandable; here was a social media company that was formed by young college dropouts who had no idea about life’s seriousness. They were zealous to create some digital public square.

Facebook has over the years let other pieces of software collect data from its unsuspecting users and is today a source of fake news.

Mark Zuckerberg realizes that privacy is Facebook’s weakest point and is determined to fix the malady.

Facing more than a dozen international investigations in privacy, it comes as no surprise to hear Mark Zuckerberg rant, “I believe the future for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp is private”.

So, what are some of the changes that will make Facebook more private?

Facebook realises more than ever that one’s friends are not created equal. What one is willing to disclose to one friend may be a secret to another friend. Is that not the way life works, after all? Like WhatsApp, Facebook is going to make more emphasis on Groups.

Facebook already has the Groups feature but perhaps it is not as outstanding as it is in WhatsApp. Facebook is now going to emphasise this; to give you the opportunity to choose who should see your post and who should not. For example, all groups related to jobs will not allow posts from employers because there are many things that employees say that they would not want their employers to see.

Facebook realises that perhaps it has not encouraged face-to-face interactions but has created a generation that is addicted to being behind computer and smartphone screens. Facebook will create Secret Crush, a tool that will be used to test if there is enough chemistry between two members of the opposite sex to arrange a date.

Facebook will revamp its Events Tab to make it very easy to find nearby events. Facebook is now seeking to create small communities that can interact and share moments other than creating a huge network of friends that are but digital.

Facebook is a working on a revolutionary encrypted messaging platform that will work across Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. You will be able to send a message straight from Facebook to WhatsApp or to Instagram or the other way round and indeed from Instagram to WhatsApp. That may sound miraculous but has its downside as Mark indicated; it can end up being a safe haven for criminals.

Facebook has promised that it would include safety locks in the cross-cutting messaging app.

Facebook’s News Feed is the source of misinformation and fake news yet the company has not mentioned how it is going to revamp this ‘loose cannon’ to regain its reputation. Facebook, with Instagram and WhatsApp under its wraps, is a social media giant and these moves will surely cement its supremacy.

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