June 26, 2012

Really, Facebook?

As I’ve said here many times, one of the things that frustrates me to no end is Facebook’s policy of changing your settings without telling you. They’ve done it many times already (I tend to do a check of my settings around the first of the month, even though I don’t really post much of anything there anymore). And they’ve done it again.

Facebook is putting your facebook email address on your profile/timeline. I know, Facebook has email? Sort of. Facebook has assigned everyone an email address based on their username, and if someone emails it, it will go into your message inbox.

Of course, their messages aren’t really great for email. One, they’re all threaded by who sent the message, so it makes it hard to find any particular message other than the most recent. So if you were looking for something your sister said, you’d have to look through EVERY message she’s sent you. Also, you can’t back them up.

Back to the real issue- Facebook’s settings now list your facebook email on your profile/timeline, even if you had it set so that it wouldn’t show your email. Where you’ll go to fix it depends on whether or not you’re using Timeline.

For people using the older profile, go to your profile page, and where it lists your personal information at the top, click on Edit Profile. Then, from the menu on the left, select Contact Information. Your email addresses will be listed at the top. You can adjust who can see your email addresses (the closest you can come to opting out is by setting it to “Only Me”) and next to it you can pick whether or not it will list it on your profile/timeline.

If you have Timeline, click on the Update Info button. Scroll down to the Contact Info box and click on Edit. Then you can adjust who can see your email addresses, and set whether or not you want to list them on your timeline.

For me, it’s frustrating that Facebook continues to change settings. If their IPO has proved anything, it’s that they aren’t as in demand as they think. Most people I know didn’t buy their stock because they remember the dotcom bubble bursting. They’ve seen websites come and go- remember when everyone had AOL? Now they’re struggling to stay relevant!

They like to think that they’re what people can’t do without, but all it takes is one website to give people what they want, and they’ll leave. That’s what happened to Myspace and Friendster. People left ICQ for AIM, then AIM for texting. It’s only a matter of time before one of two scenarios happens- either FB crosses a line with privacy that people are uncomfortable with, or someone creates a new site that makes you opt-in when they release new features.

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