Facebook Surpasses 350 Million Users

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Zuckerberg reveals important changes coming your way

The December 1st announcement by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that his wildly popular social networking site has reached the 350 million user mark wasn’t unexpected. Facebook has been growing at a phenomenal pace and is poised to have all 7.6 billion global citizens signed up by 2017.

FacebookOkay, a bit of an exaggeration on my part as the earth won’t reach that population figure before 2025.

Still, there doesn’t seem much holding Facebook back from further expansion which means that users will see key changes in the near future to ensure its long term success.

Zuckerberg used the announcement on his blog to say that Facebook would soon be ending regional networks, a popular way for users to connect. Entire networks serving specific countries have sprung up including India and China, where language and cultural differences make having a regional site sensible.

Regional Networks Ending

Yet, in the name of privacy Zuckerberg contends that by removing regional networks and replacing them with improved tools, Facebook users can control who sees their content including friend, friends of friends, or everyone. Facebook is now allowing users to control who see every piece of content uploaded to or created on the site and will be rolling out new features to protect user privacy.

To that end, Zuckerberg has asked Facebook users to review and update their current privacy settings. You can do this by clicking on Facebook > Settings > Privacy Settings and reviewing your settings for four categories: profile, search, news feed and wall, and applications.

You can also add people to block by name or by email address, customizing your settings as you see fit. While you’re at it, why not update your password? Regular password changes can help reduce the chances that someone hacks into your account.

Critics Counter Changes

Not everyone is pleased with Zuckerberg’s announcement, with social media critic Jennifer Leggio arguing that there are still no changes in Facebooks’ photo uploading policy contending that “…users have absolutely no control over what photos are uploaded.” (ZDNet.com: New privacy, shmivacy – Facebook photo tagging still a big fail)

Leggio goes on to say that Facebook needs to develop a system where an email notification should be sent to a tagged user before it is uploaded to the site which would allow them to remove the tag or request that the photo not be shown. This is particularly important where children are concerned as a lot of parents don’t want their youngster’s pictures shown online.

In any case, Facebook is continuing to grow rapidly adding at least 500,000 new users every day. (Mashable.com: WOW: Facebook Adding Half a Million New Users Every Day) At some point the social networking site may hit a wall, but until then expect it to continue its ascent.

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