Mark Zuckerberg promises a new privacy-obsessed Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg promises a new privacy-obsessed Facebook

"Another person wants to catch up with a friend and can send them a message that goes to their preferred app without having to think about where that person prefers to be reached, or you simply post a story from your day across both Facebook and Instagram and can get all the replies from your friends in one place".

Zuckerberg framed the strategy as a user choice, including the phrase "people want" six times in his blog post, and citing the fast growth of ephemeral and private communication on his company's services.

"He added that Facebook would commit to not storing user data in countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression", saying the company was prepared to accept the "tradeoff" that this might bar Facebook from operating in certain countries. The CEO announced his new "privacy-focused vision" for the social media platform this week - but it looks more like a PR stunt than anything else. This and other scandals have led Zuckerberg to (at least, from a public relations perspective) direct the platform towards user privacy. And the notion of Facebook exchanging data with third-party companies behind the scenes-even if users intitially grant permission-comes to be deeply controversial.

Zuckerberg is essentially previewing his end-goals for Facebook and his company's other messaging platforms, like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, as well as social networking in general.

He added that he believes public social networks will continue to be "very important" to people due to their power to connect individuals, but that the way people want to use them has changed.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the CEO and founder detailed his overarching vision for how to make the service more secure, including encrypting messages. Those services are also likely to offer other moneymaking features, such as a digital wallet, as Facebook attempts to build something similar to Tencent's popular WeChat service in Asia.

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On the other hand, a more secure exchange of communication will allow Facebook to gain people's trust with regards to e-commerce, payments, within its service.

Facebook will work toward end-to-end encryption for all private communications, Zuckerberg said, but the decentralization of data doesn't come without its concerns. Which is why Zuckerberg's new prediction that Messenger and its fraternal twin WhatsApp will become the primary means of interfacing with the Facebook network only sounds like a stretch, not an impossibility. Currently, they can target their advertising based on what people share openly.

"We won't keep messages or stories around for longer than necessary to deliver the service or longer than people want them", said Zuck.

Facebook has built the world's largest online platform with some 2.3 billion active users but has been criticized for enabling misinformation and manipulation, and for gathering vast amounts of personal data which may be used for targeted advertising.

For example, Facebook could give users an option to have messages automatically delete after a year, month or even seconds after they're sent. Zuckerberg says that Messages, which he says will intermingle aspects of instant messaging and SMS and store all conversations forever, isn't email.

Zuckerberg said he sees a major shift for Facebook which over 15 years has helped build what he called "the digital equivalent of a town square".

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