A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google+ gets privacy right

A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google+ gets privacy right

Summary: It's another warning for Facebook as the New York Times gives Google+ a one-up when it comes to handling privacy.

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I wouldn't be surprised to see a complete revamping of Facebook's privacy settings fairly soon - especially now that the New York Times has given Google+ a one-up over Facebook when it comes to privacy settings.

Privacy still matters - or maybe it's just control over what gets shared that really matters. That's something that Facebookers have told founder Mark Zuckerberg time and time again, usually in a revolt when a new feature will come to Facebook and the privacy settings get tweaked in favor of more sharing. Users squawk, Facebook readjusts the settings and issues an apology and all is forgiven. After all, it's not like there was another Facebook-like place where people could hang out and socialize on the Internet.

Until now.

Also: Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook users usually get over privacy anxiety

In less than a month, Google+ has skyrocketed, now at 10 million strong and growing. There's been quite a bit of chatter on Facebook among the people in my networks. And many of them are starting to show up in Google+, adding me to their circles. Even my wife, who spends a fair amount of time connecting with friends and family on FB, asked about Google+ on Saturday. We set up an account and, by the time Monday morning came around, her network of circles was already growing.

My wife, who tends to take her Facebook privacy settings - as well as her friend list - very seriously, was initially hesitant about Google+. She certainly didn't like the idea of not having to request a friend or approve a friend, nor was she comfortable with just anyone seeing her photos, status updates and other postings.

But then, as she got deeper into Google+, she started to recognize that sharing with specific circles was actually a "better way" (her words, not mine) of posting things. She's the one who recognized that this Google+ way of sharing was better than having to go in and mess with all of those settings in Facebook.

Now, none of this is to say that Facebook will be heading down a MySpace path anytime soon. My wife has built a strong network of folks in FB and even she commented that, without a few of her core Facebook friends, Google+ was kind of boring. Certainly, she won't stop logging in to Facebook on a regular basis.

Still, this should serve as yet another warning call to Facebook. Google is sending a strong and loud message that Facebook is no longer the only game in town. And taking time to address the pain points that have long existed in Facebook - such as privacy - will only make Google+ look that much more attractive.

Which brings me back to my prediction that, in the case of privacy settings, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Facebook come up with some sort of simplification of those settings. Sure, that means the leader would be following in the footsteps of the new guy on the block.

But, it's got to be better than following in the footsteps of MySpace.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Google

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86 comments
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  • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

    Dear Facebook, I won my information.
    tatiGmail
    • Message has been deleted.

      Rob.sharp
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @rob.sharp@... Classy . . . for a troll of course.
        razorsyntax
    • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

      @tatiGmail LOL! Then Google sold the shit out of it for a profit.
      JoeHTH
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @JoeHTH
        That was already done on Facebook.
        hkommedal
  • Same sales pitch from the bloggers

    "Now that Google's here 'X' is no longer the only game in town"<br><br>Until Google folds it. They've done it enough time in the past.<br><br>Now, I'm no fan of Facebook, but pushes out a lot of fads, something it appears that Facebook isn't.<br><br>"Skyrocketed?" You call 10 million people as skyrocketing? that's funny.

    Facebooks probally already passed 750 million in the time it took to print they hit 750 million.<br><br>Only 740+ million people to go for Google!
    William Pharaoh
    • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

      Facebook- 750,000,000 users in 7 years, or 107,142,857 per year.

      Google+ - 10,000,000+ users in less than 1 month, or at that rate over 120,000,000 users a year.

      Yes, the numbers are "skyrocketing". It isn't just about numbers, but about how fast they get to those numbers. And Google+ is getting numbers FAST.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • But only because Facebook made people aware

        @goff256 <br>of social networking, so Google is getting help ( a head start, as it were) as people now understand the value to them.<br><br>There are so many examples in history, where uptake on a new product or idea was slow, but once people saw the value to them, other companies jumped it and picked up running.<br><br>If this came out 7 years ago, would Google have 10 million people in less then a month? <br><br>No, they wouldn't. So nothing against what you're saying, I'm pointing out that I would be surprised if it was much less, given that Google is just riding the hype, and time will tell if it's really worth sticking with.

        Plus, I'm pointing out the constent "fanboyism" of Sam and Christopher, where everything Google related always sounds better then it is. :)
        William Pharaoh
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        There is a chance that this will fail, just like anything else.

        And journalists love this.

        The thing is, though, I can see this being more successful than Facebook. Google has learned from their mistakes and are making a superior product.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @goff256 Your math is very flawed.
        prof.ebral
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @goff256 Gee, in no time at all, by your calculation, Google+ will have over 25 billion users! Hey wait, there ain't that many people on earth!!

        Problem is you're using "straight-line" calculation, and it's the beginning of the roll-out. It could also just stall right now and never get over 50 million.
        greg_nw@...
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        You're right, it could stall at 50 million.

        But to say that 10 million in less than a month isn't skyrocketing is just being anti-Google
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @greg_nw it would take over 208,000 years for google to get 25 billion users if they grow at 10,000 a month.

        (25 000 000 000 / 10 000) / 12 = 208 333.333

        I'd hardly call that "no time at all"
        And that model isn't even taking into account the deaths of people (unless we assume everyone is immortal).
        Bucky24
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @goff256 That's one giant ass leap of logic. I've never seen such and blind assumption in my life.
        JoeHTH
      • Wait a second

        You're right, it's not "no time". ~_~<br><br>Also, the assumption is that it will only remain steady. We can't predict the future, we can only go from the data we are given. Such a large number, and the reason is irrelevant, is skyrocketing.<br><br>Does it matter if Facebook did it first? No. Google put out a product that people like, and it's growing.

        Edit: Even going by a continued 10m a month? That's 208 years, hardly "no time at all".

        But, there will be a critical mass. The problem is predicting it. There are roughly 2.1 billion people using the internet (if stats are to be trusted). That means, in theory, Google + could end up capping at over 1 billion users, since a number of under 18 users aren't allowed (age).
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @William Pharaoh
        "But only because Facebook made people aware"? And MySpace made people aware of Facebook, etc.
        You sound like someone who thinks they invented sex.
        One day, Google+ will no doubt help somebody become aware of something else. Who cares?
        freetulisten
    • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

      @William Pharaoh
      Lets see how many years dd it take face book to get to the 750 million mark lets see if google averages 10 mil a month or thats 120 mill a year in 6 years they will have the same amount of users facebook does in what took them 8 years to get to..I don't know but that seems to beat Facebooks record.
      Fletchguy
      • Then you missed what Mr. Pharaoh had posted.

        @Fletchguy
        Because the uptake is so fast is not an indication that it is superior, just that more people are aware of social networking sites.

        Facebook literally started the phenomenon, and the concept always takes some time to "come of age" from the begining.

        Google is starting from a position based on the groundwork laid out by Facebook.

        Google needs not entice people into social networking, as facebook has already pulled the people into the concept.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @Fletchguy You cannot use that math because it is flawed. Facebook's mean growth is 750 million / 7 years ... but that's not how it works year for year. Eventually the growth is smaller because of market saturation.
        prof.ebral
      • RE: A Facebook warning call: NYT says Google gets privacy right

        @Fletchguy Another giant assumption. Call me when Google+ grows 10 million users over the course of 7 years. Then we will talk.

        What an idiot.
        JoeHTH