Facebook wants really wants to make as much information as possible on Facebook public. It recently changed the privacy controls on the site to make it easier to share with everyone. It wants to know how much users are willing to share and, depending on the answer, it may keep pushing in this direction.
A survey sent out a couple days ago to users asks them to describe how open they are to sharing information on Facebook. The options are:
- Very open—I wouldn’t mind if everyone could see all the information I share on Facebook
- In between—I don’t mind if everyone can see some of my information, but certain information I only want to share with my close friends or family
- Private—I only share things with people I know.
The correct answer is B. Facebook wants it to be A, though. The more information that is public, the more it can turn up other people’s feed items in search results and take on Twitter in general as the de facto source of the real-time stream. In fact, Twitter has been worrying about this very move since at least last February. In the confidential Twitter papers we published last week, the February notes for a strategy meeting included a section titled “How Could Facebook Kill Us?” The top threat was “Real-Time Search.” The second threat on that list: “Opt-in to make status public.”