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Facebook’s New Features are Cool, but Come with a Privacy Caveat

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Facebook will soon help you make informed purchase decisions with better targeted ads. To do this, it will capture clues from your web browsing history. So, if you’ve been researching smartphones on the web and mobile apps of late, Facebook will show you consumer electronics ads to aid your purchase decision. Yet again, as is quite often seen with the social media giant, the issue of privacy crops up. If you are not a fan of sharing your browsing history with Facebook, you can opt-out.


Another new tool being launched is ad preferences, which tells you why you’re seeing a particular add, and allows you to include and remove interests. This tool is accessible from every Facebook ad.


However, other new Facebook Messenger features being rolled out don’t offer this option. With Big Likes and a new video support, Facebook is hoping to reclaim some of its younger users who’ve either abandoned the site for newer, hipper social networks or become less active over the years. Big Likes, as its name implies, is a more enthusiastic thumbs-up to just the Like. The video support allows you to share photos and videos in the midst of typing messages. This strategy, supported by Instagram – the super-popular photo and video sharing service owned by Facebook – enables you to take full advantage of wireless accessibility.


To the privacy issue then. Facebook’s app can now turn your microphone on to capture what you’re listening to or watching. Facebook says that the new addition helps automate status updates. The concern is that users may naturally not want to share details about their listening and viewing activities. Another problem is that background noise can play spoil-sport in conveying what is truly happening around the user.