Did you notice this on your Fan page this morning?


The morning following Mark Zuckerberg’s open letter to Facebook we have a new icon on Fan Pages that allows you to target a sub-set of your fans.   You can customize who sees your status update, photo, link, etc, by geographic region and language.


How is this useful?

My first thought is that you can reduce the noise for your fans.  If you are posting a local seminar, odds are your fans across the country are not going to be attending.

I suspect this will soon be added to personal profiles, allowing people to show content to only a small group of connections or individual lists of friends. (See how important lists are???)


Why it matters:

While Facebook promotes the concept of “Open community sharing” the reality is, some people are not comfortable flashing their kids pictures to a thousand connections they may not know.  Other people may be hiding things from the boss (or their spouse?) – oh yeah, this opens up a whole new can of proverbial worms.  How can a Corporate Social Media Policy effectively cover all the “what if’s” now?   Corporations don’t want employees wasting time online.  If they are marketing on behalf of the company, great, but now, how can that be policed by management if employees can post things without the higher ups being able to see it?

With 350 million users, Facebook is the 4th largest “country” in the world.  Like other countries, Facebook has laws – these rules are enforced in an effort to protect the majority.  So, is this new feature designed to help Facebook Users police their own profiles?  Will this reduce abuse or give users an opportunity to abuse the system in a different way?

What happens if someone I am connected to posts a picture of me that I would not want up, but prevents me from seeing it?  How can I protect myself from that?

Facebook changes pose more questions then answers.  They usually figure it all out in the end, but when a change is first instituted, it ruffles feathers until a new comfort level is reached by users.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

What are your thoughts?