Facebook emerges from two-month lockdown

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Social Media

Redesign still to come

Facebook emerged from a two-month 'lockdown' yesterday, during which the development team have been working on changes to the social media site. In a conference at Facebook's Palo Alto headquarters, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced several changes that will take effect over the coming months.

According to TechCrunch, "one of these will be a redesign, which is meant to unify the look of the site", which they speculate will make the user homepage and profile pages more similar to the Groups and Places pages.

Groups have changed dramatically since their original function, having been almost completely replaced by Fan Pages. The revamped Groups pages are now more similar to the little-used Friends Lists, in that users can 'map' their offline friendship group interactions and dynamics onto an online space, exclusive to members of the group.

Privacy matters

Privacy has also come to the fore, with a new Application privacy dashboard that allows users to see which apps and games are accessing their information. Furthermore, the social network has introduced a data portability function, allowing users to download all their photos, videos, messages, notes, friend lists, profile information and more, as a zip file.

The move is a step towards transparency, with Mashable commenting, "this is a pretty big step for Facebook, a platform that has often been criticised for acting as a walled garden".

However, reports have surfaced recently that a syncing function on Facebook for iPhone has led to personal contact data sharing. As well as phone numbers that users have added manually, the phonebook contacts of synced iPhones are now being stored too. Facebook hastened to reassure the BBC that "this information is private and is not shared with any friends or any third party".