Zuckerberg sees Facebook future in private, small-scale messaging

Zuckerberg sees Facebook future in private, small-scale messaging

Zuckerberg sees Facebook future in private, small-scale messaging

It's a major bet by Zuckerberg, who sees it as a way to push Facebook more firmly into a messaging market that's growing faster than its main social networking business.

He also said the company would not build data centres in countries with a "track record of violating human rights".

As Zuckerberg himself acknowledged, the idea the company will reorient itself around privacy will strike many users as improbable or paradoxical.

The move also comes amidst efforts to more tightly regulate social platforms such as Facebook and the way they handle data.

This is the key to Zuckerberg's vision: a definition of privacy that focuses on what users post, and who sees it, rather than a more technical definition that brings in concepts like data protection, consent-based processing of personal information, and corporate uses of implied data.

Users may feel more comfortable communicating with one or a handful of friends, and sharing content that won't stick around permanently.

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Facebook plans to make it possible for users to send messages to their contacts using any of its services and SMS.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has promised to introduce end-to-end encryption and auto-expire features on Messenger and other Facebook apps, to fulfill his commitment to privacy. In a Pew Research Center study, a quarter of the Facebook users polled said they deleted the app from their smartphones a year ago, and more than half said they adjusted their privacy settings. As we build up large collections of messages and photos over time, they can become a liability as well as an asset. By tapping into private communication, Facebook would be able to restore the trust of the public, which was damaged after the social network's mishaps.

Facebook's now-explicit transition from public square into private portal shouldn't be too big a shock; it's a shift that's been increasingly telegraphed by the platform's constant addition of functional gewgaws like payments, games, and commerce options from food delivery to hailing rideshares. "Read it carefully, and it's impossible to escape the conclusion that if privacy is to be protected in any meaningful way, Facebook must be broken up". It will be the reality for Facebook and its family of apps, which include Instagram and WhatsApp, in the near future. It seems to me that if the only use is to serve you ads more aligned with your interests and conditions (and are not made available to, say, the Russian government so they can play with your head) that is not a bad tradeoff for the wealth of content and applications that otherwise would have to charge you access fees. In fact, Facebook and Instagram might become even more important.

Also, Facebook aims to make most of its content ephemeral, content that people don't need to worry about what they share coming back to hurt them later.

The new promises from Zuckerberg come after a series of damaging disclosures in the past year involving significant user-information breaches and revelations about Facebook's questionable business practices. It could also stop storing messaging metadata for a long time.

Facebook has encouraged messaging conversations between businesses and consumers since at least 2016 but has not disclosed its revenue from the efforts. Critics are anxious that this may never see the light of day, as has happened with many other announcements Facebook made as a response to backlash to its scandals.

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