|Facebook’s new features spark concerns|
|Written by John Schuller, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:28|
In order to compete with the news of rival social networking site Google+ going public, Facebook updated its profile design and plans to release additional changes in the coming months.
Changes include a “timeline” feature, which shows important posts throughout the user’s history on Facebook. The posts include status updates, added friends or pictures and is organized like a vertical timeline.
The feature is already available as a demo, or to the few who followed online forums on how to activate the new design, but will soon be rolled out to every user.
The multi-billion dollar company also teamed up with other corporations to roll out additional features and updates.
In an attempt to bring video streaming to Facebook, the company teamed up with both Hulu and Netflix. Not just video streaming will be brought to the website in the future, but music streaming as well. Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio and Spotify have joined with Facebook as well.
Facebook is also trying to change the way news is delivered, by teaming up with various news organizations, including the Washington Post.
Google, though, is currently the giant when it comes to trusted news sources, according to Stephen Perry, communications professor and coordinator of the mass media program.
“Facebook has evolved from a site to share pictures and messages with your friends to what many now call the ‘ultimate communications platform,’” James Wolf, associate professor in the School of Information Technology, said.
Wolf sees this going a lot further than just having the current partnerships and even adding shopping geared partnerships to allow users to never have to leave the walls of Facebook.
“If you have followed the evolution of Facebook, you see that every step they take introduces new privacy concerns,” Wolf said.
These concerns have already started to raise questions among students on campus.
“Facebook is very innovative, but it makes me uncomfortable to have everything on the Internet on Facebook,” Jeff Rozalewicz, senior English major, said.
These new partnerships do still come with controversy, as the new Internet mogul has already started to raise.
“Their recent partnerships with Netflix, Hulu and others, along with the introduction of Timeline, has some privacy experts worried that users may lose some control of their personal information,” Wolf added.
The new partnerships could entice more users to join Facebook — already 40 percent of Americans are members.
Or they may create an environment where users never need to leave the site, Wolf said, but when asked if he would start to use Facebook more, Rozalewicz said, “I am going to try to use Facebook less, I don’t want to get too dependent on it.”