Facebook Update: New Dashboard, Download Your Info, and Groups

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, spoke today at an event at Facebook HQ in Palo Alto, CA. He explained what the company has been working on over the summer during their "intense" employee lockdown period. After explaining the basics of the improvements and problems facing the world of social networking, he started on the main points of the presentation.

He spoke about the ability to grab all of your content from Facebook. In a feature called Download Your Information, Facebook will gather all the things you've put on Facebook, and provide them to you via a .zip archive. The archive contains a file that shows something like a timeline of all your interactions with Facebook. This feature will be rolled out today. 

The second announcement is a newly improved Apps dashboard that integrates all the apps you've used, permissions granted and anything else you've done with an app, and displays it in a way that makes it easy to see where your data is going and how you interact with the social graph in apps. It includes a very detailed access log that keeps track of API calls for future reference. This is great news for all those concerned over privacy, as this is a much more streamlined way to manage the access apps have to your information. 

The final announcement is a solution to "the biggest problem in social networking." Zuckerberg highlighted the problems with interacting with of all your friends all at once. Sometimes you only want a few friends to know something. It isn't always all friends or one friend. Facebook's answer to this problem is not lists. According to Zuckerberg, nobody wants to make lists. Even when they do, they rarely make more useful ones. Algorithms aren't good at predicting groupings yet. Facebook claims to have the solution to this problem, using a few simple tools under the name Groups. 

A group can be anything: family, sports buddies, work, etc. It works like a mailing list, and you can share content within the group. Adding members works a lot like photo tagging. It enables group chats, communications via email, and introduces document collaboration. The mobile implementation of groups will also be going live today. 

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A quote from Mark Zuckerberg (speaking about online friends), "See a girl you are flirting with at the top [of your friends list] and an ex-boyfriend."

So essentially the executives at Facebook have spent the summer renaming Lists to Groups? Oh & figuring out how to allow us to download information we already know in a .ZIP archive?

Lewis Holdford said,
So essentially the executives at Facebook have spent the summer renaming Lists to Groups? Oh & figuring out how to allow us to download information we already know in a .ZIP archive?

Groups != Lists. There is some overlap, but many differences too. Research more.

Lets hope these "Groups" will make there way to Windows Phone 7 as an option for grouping facebook contacts from your other contacts!

martinDTanderson said,
Lets hope these "Groups" will make there way to Windows Phone 7 as an option for grouping facebook contacts from your other contacts!

The final of WP7 already lets you choose to sync existing contacts or all Facebook contacts, just like the Facebook Apps on Android and iPhone.

I would assume the group features will be added to the facebook integration/apps on all devices.

He spoke about the ability to grab all of your content from Facebook. In a feature called Download Your Information, Facebook will gather all the things you've put on Facebook, and provide them to you via a .zip archive. The archive contains a file that shows something like a timeline of all your interactions with Facebook. This feature will be rolled out today.

Knowing Facebooks security track record this feature can only spell doom in a few months, when somebody finds a way to download someone else's info.

PaulDr said,

Knowing Facebooks security track record this feature can only spell doom in a few months, when somebody finds a way to download someone else's info.

To be fair if you've put sensitive information online anyway then you're not the smartest person.

imo "the biggest problem in social networking" is when some jerks think that They know better whats better for users, when Theyre enforcing their very own concept of privacy, or rather "privacy"; in general, when theres no collaboration with users, when Theyre ignoring their feedback.

insanelyapple said,
imo "the biggest problem in social networking" is when some jerks think that They know better whats better for users, when Theyre enforcing their very own concept of privacy, or rather "privacy"; in general, when theres no collaboration with users, when Theyre ignoring their feedback.
You don't have to use facebook. It is a free application.

Vegetunks said,
Just improve pageload times and remove the damned HashBang that ALWAYS breaks Chrome and Firefox for me...

This. I get so fracking tired of having to click every single link in facebook 19 times before it will load the page, and it's only gotten worse and worse over the past few months (to the point of being so unbearable I hardly even use FB anymore).

Hmm, thinking about it, maybe I should code something to force facebook to always directly load the php file as apposed to home.php#!/crappypage.php

vaximily said,

This. I get so fracking tired of having to click every single link in facebook 19 times before it will load the page, and it's only gotten worse and worse over the past few months (to the point of being so unbearable I hardly even use FB anymore).

and I thought I was the only one =)

The final announcement is a solution to "the biggest problem in social networking." Zuckerberg highlighted the problems with interacting with of all your friends all at once. Sometimes you only want a few friends to know something. It isn't always all friends or one friend. Facebook's answer to this problem is not lists. According to Zuckerberg, nobody wants to make lists. Even when they do, they rarely make more useful ones. Algorithms aren't good at predicting groupings yet. Facebook claims to have the solution to this problem, using a few simple tools under the name Groups.

A group can be anything: family, sports buddies, work, etc. It works like a mailing list, and you can share content within the group. Adding members works a lot like photo tagging. It enables group chats, communications via email, and introduces document collaboration. The mobile implementation of groups will also be going live today.


Erm.... that sounds like adding things to a list to me...

omnicoder said,

Erm.... that sounds like adding things to a list to me...

No one likes to add things to lists. We have a solution...

Rename Lists to Groups ;-)

omnicoder said,

Erm.... that sounds like adding things to a list to me...

There's no group chat for lists, or mailing list feature. There are other more subtle changes too, as for how people can be invited (group members are trusted and can also invite AFAIK), and transparency or not to the "outside".

This is something in-between lists and pages. The overlap is a bit confusing IMO. I think lists should have been converted to these new groups.

RobertH said,

No one likes to add things to lists. We have a solution...

Rename Lists to Groups ;-)

No one likes playing as the taliban. We have a solution...

Rename Taliban to OpFor ;-)

omnicoder said,

Erm.... that sounds like adding things to a list to me...

Sounds like they added similar functionality of Google Wave into facebook...