AllFacebook: “Facebook’s Privacy Settings Present Intrinsic Limitations To The Platform”

Nick O’Neill:

I’ve written countless times about Facebook’s “privacy facade” and how it could develop potential problems in their global expansion. Today, some developers and bloggers were disappointed that Facebook did not open up unrestricted global access to users’ streams. This means that developers cannot develop tools to analyze the information being shared on Facebook in aggregate unless every Facebook user installs their application.

Facebook’s privacy settings inherently limit the company’s ability to take on a product like Twitter Search which gives you access to 99 percent of the status updates taking place within the global Facebook network. This inability was the foundation of Marshall Kirkpatrick’s argument this afternoon that “the conversation on Facebook remains fundamentally closed due to extensive privacy limitations and the company’s disinterest in overcoming those limitations in an appropriate way.”

Sigh. A good (or terrifying, depending on your spin) reminder that lots of developers in the “social” space have zero understanding of the social aspects of privacy.