Facebook Roundup: Privacy Visualization, Topix, Unlikes, Parature and Oil

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By Sara Inés Calderón Comment

Visualizing Facebook’s Move Towards Openness — Whatever you think about Facebook’s relentless efforts to make its service more open and central to the web — and sneakily destroy user privacy, as some see it — you should be sure to check out this infographic of the company’s changes. Created by user interface developer Matt McKeon, it shows concentric circles of privacy, from your friends to the entire internet, segmented by feature type.

Each feature has become more open over time, and the graphic represents this by filling in the circular outline in dark blue. You can click through the year dates on the right to see the progression. Here’s what it looks like today:

Note to readers: We’ll be providing in-depth analysis of recent Facebook privacy and security issues this next week.

Topix.com Adds Facebook Plugins – Topix.com, the bulletin board discussion forum used across the country, has added Facebook’s social plugins to the site, as well as a Twitter location feature. Changes were meant to add social engagement, and the Facebook plugins were added to the topic and location pages, but not yet for story and article pages. There’s currently not a way to login into Topix with your Facebook login — but this makes sense because the site is often a forum for anonymous comments. The site receives about 125 million page views and 14 million unique visitors monthly with more than 50,000 news items published a day.

The ‘Unlike’ Option – Facebook added an “unlike” option to help users un-fan Facebook Pages via fan box plugins. Previously, it wasn’t easy to un-fan, or un-like, a Page on an external web site, which helped Page admins keeps their fan numbers high.

U.S. Govt Creates Page for Oil Spill – An oil spill off the coast of the U.S. state of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico has prompted government officials to create an official Facebook Page addressing the disaster. The Page, Deepwater Horizon Response, is a “unified command” of several agencies working together to address the leak and protect the environment; some of the agencies involved include the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Page currently has about 12,500 fans and provides photos, updates, resources, press release and video related to the spill.

Parature Launches Support Tab – Accel Partners-backed Parature launched a customer service product for the Facebook Page amins which essentially creates an integrated and branded Support tab on the Page. This tab takes comments posted to the Wall and transforms them into service tickets that are attacked to that customer/Facebook user and these are in turn tended to by company employees. Parature also includes a frequently asked questions feature and a live chat feature available on the Facebook Page; thus far clients include Rosetta Stone, NPR and T Mobile.


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