When Facebook reached out to me and other parenting journalists to attend a “Facebook Family Tech Chalkboard” meeting at their campus, I was excited attend a press briefing on their new features. As parents we have the dual role of using Facebook to communicate with our own friends (and family) as well as advising our teens on topics such as privacy and social media etiquette. Those of us with businesses or websites also use Facebook Pages to engage with our customers or readers. Listed below is a summary of the topics discussed.
- Facebook Groups Updates:
- Facebook groups is a great way to have separate discussions with different “groups” of friends. I wrote a post (Tips For Moms on Using Facebook Groups) that discussed the different types of groups and details for setting up Facebook Groups. At the meeting we shared stories on how we use Facebook groups.
- Facebook Groups for Schools: We learned about Facebook feature called “Groups for Schools” which allows people with an active school email address to join groups at their college or university. I am happy that Facebook still has this feature to allow only people in the college (that have the college “email” address) to join the college Facebook group.
- New Facebook Feature “Save for later”: The new Facebook “Save” feature enables you to save items (links, places, movies, TV and music) you find on Facebook for later. From a privacy standpoint we learned that only you can see the items you save unless you choose to share them with friends. This is a feature that is especially important to me lately because while I find the most interesting articles on my timeline, I rarely have time to read the full article. Now I can “save” it and come back to it! Sometimes I flip back and forth in my Facebook timeline between top stories and most recent to see what articles people are sharing. But I always seem to go back to “top stories” because that is where some of the most talked about articles seem to show up. My next step will be to create my own Facebook “friends lists” of my tech friends, parenting friends and more to help curate updates on my timeline (which I can now share!).
- Facebook Security: With parents one of the top concerns with online social networking is security. At the meeting we were shown resources that cover security such as the Facebook Security Page, Facebook Security Center and the Facebook Help Center (Security). I spent time with my teen before he signed up for Facebook discussing security/privacy and we have regular discussions to check in. To share some of the information I learned, I wrote a post called “Tips For Parents: Facebook Privacy For Teens“.
- Facebook Privacy Checkup: The new Facebook feature called “Privacy Checkup“ offers a guided approach to setting up privacy controls. It will take users through steps to “review things like who they’re posting to, which apps they use, and the privacy of key pieces of information on their profile“. While I already went through the Facebook privacy settings with my teen when he first set up Facebook (and for myself), the privacy checkup is also a good way to have a guided review of settings.
- Facebook Login & Anonymous Login: New Facebook login features, announced at the last Facebook Developer’s conference, offers “a brand new way to log into apps without sharing any personal information from Facebook, along with a new version of Facebook Login with even better privacy controls.” The announcement explained the three new features as:
1. Anonymous Login: “An easy way for people to try an app without sharing any of their personal information from Facebook.”
2. Facebook Login: “A new version that gives people the option to pick and choose what information apps get.”
3. Redesigned App Control Panel: “A central place for people to see and manage the apps they use.“
The ability to signup for new apps without having to share all of my personal information is an option I have been looking for some time. App developers have a year to utilize this new feature so we will see this rolling out soon.
The last topic we discussed was Facebook Pages. I not only have a Facebook page for TechMamas but also manage some Facebook pages (and ad campaigns) for clients so this is an area of great interest to me. At the same time, there is so much information to cover on this topic that I decided to split it up to be covered in my next post on Facebook Pages (so keep an eye out for that post coming out soon!).
At the end of the event we had a tour of the Facebook Campus and could not help but have some fun in the Facebook store with fellow parenting journalists – including Jessica Rosenberg who helped me model some fun tee shirts!
Disclosure: The Facebook Family Tech Chalkboard was a press event. This post is a press update.