Social Enterprise

Facebook is redefining friends

Facebook has added a feature that lets you decide what information you share with certain groups of people. Could you use this to your career advantage?

It just had to happen. Facebook is redefining friendship.

In its short lifespan, Facebook has faced some criticisms; some in regard to privacy issues (which it is hoping to address with a new privacy interface) and others in regard to the site's restrictiveness in how information is shared. Here's how the company plans to address the latter:

From the Facebook site:

We added friend lists to Facebook back in December as a way to help you communicate with groups of your friends. Now, in addition to messaging and event and group invitations, friend lists can help you communicate by choosing what information you share with certain groups of people.

For example, you can upload your "Family vacation" photo album and share it only with your mom and dad or only your "Family" friend list. Alternatively, you can restrict them from seeing a photo album that may not be so Family-friendly by allowing your friends "Except" these people or this list to see it.

There is an upside to this: Basically, Facebook is letting its users decide what part of their lives they want to share with which group of friends. So, I guess if you have a bunch of "friends" who are actually acquaintances with whom you do business networking, you can now restrict those people from seeing that picture of you posing with your gravity bong.

About Toni Bowers

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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