A week ago, almost unnoticed, Facebook made some updates to the way Facebook Groups operate. You’d be surprised to know how many use Facebook Groups to organize their activities, be it amongst work colleagues or school friends or simply to group people by their hobbies and passions. When you’ll visit a group, you will be able to view who has seen each post.
Where’s the connection between an apparently innocent update covering Facebook Groups and anonymous Facebook snooping? A reputed website like The Independent refers to this update from the Facebook team like this:
The website has announced that it is going to start letting users know who has viewed items on the social network, a change which is expected to cause the amount of online snooping to plummet.
Therefore, we should take Facebook’s actions as a sign of what could come in the future. People (and cats, too) are so curious about who viewed their Facebook profile that they even become victims of scams. We can only imagine what could mean for the anonymous and uber-curious Facebook members the official implementation of a “who viewed my Facebook profile” option.
Remember, this is not as far-fetched as one might think. Google’s Orkut had this feature (might even have it now, I have no clue) for a long time. On Orkut, if I didn’t want to leave my footmarks, I had to opt-out of knowing who visited my profile! Something similar on cards on Facebook?
Being able to see who has viewed your Facebook profile will allow you to be in better control of your digital life, to see who’s checking your Facebook profile and even how many times. You might feel proud to see so many girls check out your daily Facebook activity or you might feel embarassed that your ex-girlfriend still snoops on you. These are just some examples on how you could better control your Facebook account.
If you don’t want to be spied on, then you could easily maintain only a close circle of friends, right? But that advice applies only to some of us, and the majority, to be frank, likes to have lots of “friends” in the online environment, so that when they share something, they’d be sure to get more exposure.
I think the biggest disadvantage will be done to Facebook itself as it will greatly reduce the amount of time spent by users on Facebook. You will no longer check your teacher’s profile, because you don’t want to be caught. You will no longer look at all the pictures your ex-boyfriend posted, because you don’t want him to think you still have a crush. But, in the same time, it will also damage your own need to find more.
Sometimes, we are just curious what others are doing, without having other hidden thoughts. But knowing that there is such an option that could expose your activities, you could stop checking their profiles. There are supporters and enough reasons on both sides, so it will be a hard decision for Facebook to take, now that they’re a public listed company. And maybe they’re just testing the waters with this Groups update, to see how users react.
photo credits: georgeingrey