Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

Summary: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that users eventually get used to new features that initially worried them.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that users eventually get over their privacy anxiety: they get used to new features that initially worried them. Zuckerberg was at the e-G8 Forum in Paris last week, and as always had some very interesting and controversial things to say.

"We'll roll it out, and pretty often there'll be this backlash, and people will say, ok, we don't like this new thing," Zuckerberg said according to CNET. "It's I think a real anxiety. People were really afraid of more people being able to be involved in the social network. People thought that, you know, it was just too much, right, they wanted to share stuff on the site but they didn't want it to be so much in people's face," said Zuckerberg. "You know now it's just part of the site that I think most people in a way would be like 'What's going on? How can there be Facebook without this?'"

Facebook users are known to almost always initially reject the social network's latest features, but this is not representative of what they will think a little later down the road. Back in 2006, 1 million Facebook users (or 10 percent of the Facebook user base at the time) were against the new News Feed. The feature is now an integral part of Facebook as it gives you a glimpse of what your friends are up to.

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook has so far weathered its various backlashes from subsets of its 600 million users. He also added, "One of the good things about the Internet is you can just kind of build something, and people will choose to use it or not, and that's how we win debates."

Zuckerberg notes that while users are skeptical of new changes at first, they tend to change their minds over time. I would argue that this happens for two reasons. First of all, users realize that the feature or change is actually useful as they begin to use it. Secondly, Facebook tweaks and fixes issues as users complain about certain aspects of the feature.

In short, Zuckerberg is saying that users will follow their friends in complaining about something new. The backlash tends to be short-term, however, so there is nothing to worry about. If the majority of your friends stay on Facebook, then so will you, despite the latest change you may have been complaining about most recently.

This is just one of many topics that Zuckerberg discussed. If you want to hear more, I've embedded the full one-hour interview with Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO Publicis Groupe:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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48 comments
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  • People who care about privacy...

    ...simply don't subscribe to Facebook. Not only does it exploit users; it spams. Smart Internet users don't patronize spammers.
    Anne Nonymous
    • Have to agree

      @Anne Nonymous

      I have NEVER been there and have no plans to go.
      Economister
    • 1

      @Anne Nonymous I dealt with my anxiety over Facebook privacy and deleted my account.

      I haven't missed it a bit.
      wright_is
    • Like saying "Women get use to rape"!

      @Anne Nonymous
      What an insensitive jerk!
      kd5auq
  • "If the majority of your friends stay on Facebook, then so will you"

    Talk about sheep!!!!!
    Userama
    • RE: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

      @Userama
      I use it as a communication tool, nothing else. I'm not a sheep, I just like being able to contact my group of friends easily. Unfortunately, they don't really use anything else for online communications.
      kstap
      • um... email?

        @kris_stapley@...

        [i]Unfortunately, they don't really use anything else for online communications.[/i]

        Not using Facebook, I can't be 100%, but I'm pretty sure you have to have an email address to have an account on Facebook?
        SonofaSailor
    • RE: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

      @Userama Not sheep -- frogs. Boiled frogs. You know what they say about how to boil a frog, don't you?
      daengbo
    • RE: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

      @Userama

      Your as stupid as the following quote.

      Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety
      Rob.sharp
  • RE: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

    No such thing as privacy people!<br>Get over it.<br><a href="http://fakesteve" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com/2008/09/death-of-comic-seinfeld.html</a>
    LavarockDavidson
  • Zuckerberg is a douche

    I'm still against the newsfeed, since 2006, didn't change my mind, still many times do what I can to move around it. And actually currently my facebook is "deleted", since march. True that I only closed my account cause I have the option of restoring it just like it was before. But I'm feeling more and more comfortable without FB, connecting with my friends through other means and avoiding the hassle of too much people knowing too much about my routine.

    I hope facebook get beat-up and dismantled soon. If I must pick one to take over the world, let it be Google.
    cameigons
    • Not sure about Google, but not Facebook

      @cameigons

      Surely these services only put up the information that you supply? If you don't post about your every move, then how can it know?

      I was (am?) concerned about the data mining that could be done on networks and content, but I have the same concern for Twitter and other social sites. However, I never put any information about my routine and never use locations. (Only been on FB for 2 weeks)

      Having said that, I see people - people who should know better, putting every inch of their life up there. Over sharing. But we all know people who over share IRL too.
      misterHippo
      • To whom?

        @cameigons, yeh, but WHO do you post it to?
        The whole point of facebook is it turns a narrow conversation into a wide conversation for it's promotional benefit.
        So you may want to send a photo to your mother, sister and brother, but you end up posting it on your wall. That is then read by your work colleagues, and pretty much anyone who shares their computer with.

        It's great for FB to promote itself and generate traffic, but that traffic is largely unwanted privacy problems.

        As for Google, I think if Zuck gets away with it, Google would follow suit. You can see the elements of that already in their handling of buzz.
        guihombre
      • RE: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

        @guihombre

        I have a Facebook account but because of scams, security risks and privacy issues I haven't been on and only go on when I need to because of the group for a good cause decided to get the word out using it. Causes are great but all can be abused. I don't use any apps and share very little and even my name is fake on there. None of my family have "connected" with me as family but as friends and one friend connected to me as my "sister" even though I have none. Despite all this I just have no interest in following the crowd in being glued to facebook and telling the world when I did this or that. And so what my point is is that yes people complain and not all get used to it. A lot leave but just still have accounts and have changed their accounts to private (but is there really such a thing with Facebook?). It is funny when he said "in your face" because of the name FACEbook it does seem to be living up to its name. And really what do people expect out of any Social Networking site? It is to network you with anyone you MIGHT want to be Social with ... even if you don't know them yet or even if you haven't seen them for 30 years. You just have to be smart. Don't use your real name, don't put your real birthday (just your birth year and don't like if you are under age .. there are safer sites to be on than Facebook) and don't post pictures, even if only viewable to private friends and family, that you would be embarrassed about if it got out in the public. Everything online in general has a way of getting out there. Also don't use the same password on Facebook that you use on ANY of your other sites you visit including email.

        Also I won't let my 14 year old niece on there or my 60 year old mother. Why? Because frankly if they get connected with Facebook they are not net-savvy enough to be able to tell scams from real (they don't in general on the net as it is .. especially my mother .. who clicked on a link from a hijacked email account "because I knew the sender" even though she knew his account had been hijacked) and then there are scam emails that claim to be Facebook. If they are not members of Facebook they will know that those emails are scams right off the bat. Being a member of Facebook requires you to know how to keep yourself safe on the net.

        I agree with everything you said guihombre:
        The whole point of facebook is it turns a narrow conversation into a wide conversation for it's promotional benefit.
        So you may want to send a photo to your mother, sister and brother, but you end up posting it on your wall. That is then read by your work colleagues, and pretty much anyone who shares their computer with.

        It's great for FB to promote itself and generate traffic, but that traffic is largely unwanted privacy problems.

        As for Google, I think if Zuck gets away with it, Google would follow suit. You can see the elements of that already in their handling of buzz.
        KAS stands for KillAllSpam
  • I think he's right.

    It's my prediction that our contemporary notion of "privacy" will be obsolete in the very near future, and forgotten altogether in a generation. Consider that <br>those now under 30 spent their most impressionable years in a world of reality TV and YouTube; where nearly all forms of public exhibitionism not matter how crude or stupid is not only tolerated, but is encouraged. Kids today tweet details of their daily lives that would have horrified our parents, and even install applications on their smartphones with the sole purpose of broadcasting their exact whereabouts and activities to anybody who cares in realtime.<br><br>How many are going to be left to care about privacy when nearly everyone is already literally and purposely broadcasting every minute detail of their personal lives to the entire planet?
    JohnMcGrew@...
    • The problem...

      @JohnMcGrew@... I deleted my Facebook account, but I still have Twitter. Privacy means a lot to me, which is why I deleted Facebook.

      I used Facebook to communicate with friends. But the private information I was sending my friends kept being leaked by Facebook as it constantly added new security settings and defaulted to open. It changed from being a private social network to an open Schlamassal (dog's breakfast).

      With Twitter (and blogs and forums), you already know that what you release there is open, so you adjust the content to fit, and anything that is private and just for friends doesn't get broadcast around.

      With Facebook, something you published a couple of weeks ago to a semi-private audience is likely to escape into the wild with the next update, until you realise and cut it off, which is then probably too late...
      wright_is
    • RE: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

      @JohnMcGrew@...
      You might be right, but that doesn't make it any less stupid....
      12312332123
    • RE: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users eventually get over privacy anxiety

      @JohnMcGrew@... Let's not forget the Rethuglican dismantling of the 4th Amendment via the Anti-Patriot Act. Invasion of privacy made legal.
      digital riverrat
  • Message has been deleted.

    ccocoo
  • Facebook bigger than it's customers

    No, they'll do what my missus did when she had a privacy issue with Facebook, she'll delete all the personal info and stop using it.

    No company is ever bigger than its customers, and Facebook is no different, just more hyped.
    guihombre