The new Facebook applications are designed to give users "complete control" of all the posts, photos and videos they have posted on Facebook over the years, CEO Zuckerberg said.
PALO ALTO, Calif.-Facebook has launched three new
applications it says will give its 500 million users greater control over the
mountains of personal data they have posted over the years on the social
The world's largest social network, currently the subject
of a best-selling movie, launched Oct. 6 the three new applications: Download
Your Information, a new one-stop Applications Settings dashboard and a Facebook
The idea is to give Facebook users "complete
control" of all the posts, photos and videos they have posted on Facebook
over the years and be able to use all that content for other purposes, founder
and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a packed house
of media members and analysts at the company headquarters here.
"Facebook is launching a pre-emptive strike, if you
will, against what Google is working on in its social networking product
R&D," Gartner Research Vice President Ray Valdes told eWEEK.
It has been reported that Google will be launching a new
set of Google Docs this fall that will entail new social networking
Briefly, here is how the new Facebook applications
: This lets users ask Facebook to collect everything they've
ever posted and then send it to them in a Zip file.
This dashboard shows users all applications they have subscribed
to and granted access to their personal data, such as access to profile
information or the ability to post to their Wall; what data an application has
recently accessed and when; and options for removing an application's data
access permissions or for removing the entire application.
This provides an easier way to stay up-to-date with small groups of
friends and to share things with only them in a private space. The default
setting is Closed, which means only members see what's going on in a group.
From this space, users can quickly post photos, make plans and keep up with
You can also group chat with members who are online when
you are. You can even use each group as an e-mail 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.
"We've long heard that people would find Facebook
more useful if it were easier to connect with smaller groups of their friends
instead of always sharing with everyone they know," Zuckerberg said.
"For some, it's their immediate family and for
others, it's their fantasy football league. But, the common concern is always
some variant of, 'I'd share this thing, but I don't want to bother 250 people.
Or my grandmother. Or my boss.'"
Valdes said he believes the new apps will be welcomed by
users and that they fill gaps in the overall Facebook service.
"Yahoo has had some trouble with its Groups too, and
Google will be addressing this soon. Looks like Facebook is staying ahead of
the curve," Valdes said.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg explains the company's new Groups feature at the Oct. 6 press conference in Palo Alto, Calif.