Yesterday's announcement of new features at Facebook garnered a significant amount of attention, as the social-networking site announced new ways of keeping tabs on all your friends. At first blush, the features seemed useful, as they allow a user to view a feed of all their friends' public activity, like changes to their profiles, comments they leave, and new friends that they make. But the announcement is already prompting some backlash, as some Facebook users resent having all of their activities broadcast to their friends. Clearly, there's a difference between doing something public, and wanting everyone to know about it. What's funny is that the announcement isn't all that different from the poorly-received plan by Friendster to do the same thing (perhaps, the difference is that Friendster sends out emails of your friends' activity, while Facebook distributes it in feeds, which are much sexier). Facebook says that it will address the concerns about the new product, though it's mum on specifics. If they don't do an adequate job, or, more generally, if concern about privacy on sites like this continue to grow, they will likely take a hit.
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