Facebook may not have created the internet but based on the number of global users on social media, they pretty much own the social web. Together Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp make for the majority of global users who use social media to communicate with each other. Billions of users mean billions of ad revenue. But due to past and recent issues of data breaches, misuses, bugs and epic outages CEO Mark Zuckerberg is looking to make Facebook and its family of apps more secure with new privacy tools with focus on messaging.
“Private messaging, ephemeral stories and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication,” various news outlets quoted Mark Zuckerberg said.
So why is Facebook shifting gears into a more private platform? It may have all started when around the time of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The New York Times had reported a UK-based consultancy with ties to the Trump campaign had misused the data of tens of thousands of Facebook’s 2 billion-plus users; followed with more bad news. It was then reported that a Cambridge professor created an app that gained access to information on 270,000 Facebook accounts; and soon after, Facebook themselves reported the data of 29 million users had been stolen, including names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Its latest ordeal had to do with a worldwide outage where the billions of users for Facebook, Instagram and WhatApp experienced difficulty using the platforms.
Seeing that Facebook desperately needed to revamp its security systems and regain users’ trusts, the company began to head in the direction where their platforms ran on more private settings. Basically, the future of Facebook and its family of apps will be less ‘open’ and will concentrate on enhancing private conversions and messaging. Here’s what CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a press release.
“Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room. As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms. Privacy gives people the freedom to be themselves and connect more naturally, which is why we build social networks.”
The tech industry and Facebook users all agree that this is a step in the right direction. Only time will tell how Facebook will exactly execute this.
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