Facebook founder says social network focus shifting to user privacy

Tim Jimenez
March 07, 2019 - 8:50 am

Alex Wong/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg says changes are coming, and the focus will be on users' privacy, in a long post called "A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking."

Zuckerberg says the way things are going, a lot more people are gravitating towards private, encrypted communication. 

RELATED: Can Zuckerberg really make a privacy-friendly Facebook?

The way he put it, Facebook is now more like a digital town square. Users share ideas, pictures and stories for many to see and react to. Down the road, he sees Facebook more like a digital living room. users can share with only one other person or a small group — and it would be encrypted, you could even make sure those messages disappear after a short-time and not even Facebook would be able to see those posts. 

Zuckerberg acknowledges Facebook doesn't have a good reputation when it comes to privacy, but he says they can adapt. Zuckerberg wasn't specific with exact changes or how long they could take. And from various reports, it doesn't look like public sharing would go away.

Another big question is how Facebook would be able to monetize this shift to privacy. Currently, they can target their advertising based on what people share openly. 

READ: UK lawmakers slam Facebook, recommend stiffer regulation

Why the shift? 

CBS News Technology Consultant Larry Magid said, "Part of this is of course responding to Facebook's critics who say the company is too loose when it comes to privacy. But another part is taking advantage of market opportunities. There is a growing demand for private communications."

One example, is Snapchat, an app that allows people to send each other pictures and messages but they don't last.