Facebook is testing a set of changes to its privacy settings that will make it easier for folks to control what they share and with whom. Essentially the Palo Alto, Calif.-based social network is betting that if its users have more control over privacy, they’ll share more. To be sure, the current privacy settings are made up of many unnecessary layers. As part of the test, Facebook will be asking a small group of users to “revisit and reaffirm” their privacy setting using a so-called “transition tool.” As Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, explains in a blog post:
The test we’re launching today will include a small fraction of the total number of people on Facebook. This group will receive the new, simpler settings and one of six different versions of the Transition Tool. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be collecting direct feedback from the testing group and using it to make improvements to the tool. Our goal is to ensure that people understand the changes to our privacy settings and make choices that reflect their comfort level. After the testing and feedback phase is complete, we expect to offer final versions of the tool and the new settings to everyone on Facebook.
While Facebook said the transition tool won’t encourage users to share more information than they really want, it will definitely cause some to pause and rethink what their current settings are and may spur some to make certain information more or less public. Here is Facebook’s presentation outlining the current changes.