Facebook has a new update to its privacy policies, as well as its terms and conditions for users. This time around, it’s continuing its trend of trying to lessen the impact of these changes by introducing a new Privacy Basics feature that essentially acts as an introductory tutorial to the privacy controls it puts in the hands of users on the site.
Privacy Basics includes a FAQ about Facebook’s different privacy features, including blocking and unfriending, as well as post visibility. It uses simple language, as well as bold primary colors and pretty graphic design to take people through their own privacy settings, showing them privacy settings grouped by what they make visible to others, what others can do to interact with them on the site, and what kind of information they’ll see in their feed from both friends and pages, and advertisers.
Each section contains an interactive walkthrough highlighting the specific features up for discussion, with slideshows that stick to one paragraph per screen, complete with a graphic illustrating where within the mobile app you can find what’s being explained.
The Terms and Policies update might be more interesting to those who already have a basic grasp of Facebook’s existing privacy controls, however. Facebook says that the updates are designed to help the company roll out new product to make the experience of using the network better, and the most noteworthy ones center around its burgeoning ecommerce initiatives, as well as location-based services.
For example, Facebook says it’s updating policies around location information, noting that appending location to your updates might, in the future, result in menus from nearby restaurants being served up, as well as updates specific to friends in that area. The menus bit is the part that’s worth paying the most attention to, however: It means Facebook will be using check-ins and Nearby Friends to also serve sponsored content from advertisers to specific locations.
Facebook is also updating its terms to reflect its pilot project of offering “Buy” buttons directly in Facebook posts for purchases that never leave the network, and in general it has both shortened and simplified the language about its data policies to make them easier to parse.
Finally, Facebook is offering better control over how ads appear on the network across devices for users. Opting out on one type of device will now opt out of that type of advertisement across all devices, which wasn’t necessarily the case before, and the ad preferences tools are rolling out to more countries outside of the U.S., including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK to start.