I am not going to get into all the ways that Facebook makes my brain hurt. But I am going to talk about their latest feature, which can certainly be added to my list. Now, you can add “to do” lists to Facebook. Back in January, it was discovered that you could create lists with a background gradient that was similar to status posts. The lists show up as an option when you create a new status and can be numbered or have bullet points. Last month, it was only a test feature, but Facebook is starting a slow roll out of it now.
Facebook seems to be trying to deliver on its recent promise of making the social network a bit more personal – it wants you to share more about you and less outside content. They also seem to be designed to be shared with friends, the way people often list their favorite movies/foods/whatever and ask friends to comment on their own. But is this too personal? That was one of my pet peeves about Facebook – all of your information is out there for people to see. And I don’t necessarily mean personal information like your phone number or social security number. But information like what you’re doing on a Saturday is there for everyone to know.
Let’s not even talk about how this could get used in a nefarious way. What if you make a to-do list and you tag a friend because you’re both going to get manicures on Friday? Let’s say you’ve been on a couple of dates with someone and you’re really trying to ditch them. Is this information that they can see? Sure can. Especially if you have them as a friend or you don’t have your security settings locked down. They could see it if your friend doesn’t have their security settings locked down and you’ve tagged them.
But maybe I’m jumping to some pretty big, stalking conclusions. You don’t have to put up your to-do list, however, you could still be revealing too much information. Have you ever answered a security question with your favorite movie? If so, make sure you don’t publish a list with your favorite movies on it. I can see this being fun and interactive if you’re listing things like – the best book you’ve ever read. Or your favorite tech blog!
While I think Facebook is doing a great job lately in trying to change the way that we use the platform, I still think they’re a bit off base with some of their ideas. What makes me laugh is that I’m not the only one thinking in these terms. Some are actually questioning whether or not Facebook has some ulterior motives when it comes to implementing the lists. This information could be used as a way for advertisers to target you. Like I’ve said 100 times – I’ll say something out loud, and then suddenly I’m being shown that product on Instagram. Coincidence? I think not. This is moving Facebook in the right direction, but just be careful with what lists you’re sharing friends.