Facebook Inc (FB) Users Share More Info, Despite Privacy Concerns


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users are sharing more information on Facebook than before, says a study from Carmegie Mellon University. Carmegie Mellon University conducted this study over seven years and has drawn the conclusion that although users are becoming more concerned about their online privacy, they are sharing information more than they used to do before.

Facebook Inc (FB) Users Share More Info, Despite Privacy Concerns

The study revealed that users are now more likely to share additional private information with friends and a group, which researchers named “silent listeners.” A silent listener is the name given to a third party app developers and advertisers.

The researchers of Carmegie Mellon observed the data from 5,076 Facebook users from 2005 to 2011 to find a correlation between the upgraded Facebook privacy features and users sharing information. What they found in the study was interesting, as it revealed that every time the social networking site upgrades its privacy features, the users tend to share more information with their friends, as well as third party developers and advertisers. The study was based on data a set dominated by the undergraduate student, according to researchers, and thus might not be applicable to more diverse sample of users.

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As per the study, previously users were very particular regarding the information they used to share on Facebook. By the end of 2009, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) upgraded its settings and left the users in utter confusion according to the study. Thus, users started sharing more information on their news feed and their profiles. Timeline was introduced in 2011, which led users to share even more data due to the number of additional fields available, like milestone and history.

According to Jules Polonetsky, director/co-chair of the Future Privacy Forum, Facebook was a very public place when it was first started. Everyone joined the network, and users could share pictures and updates and whatever they like on this social networking site. This was available to everyone in the friend list or in the network.

The study results are no surprise, with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) upgrading its security features, users feel safer to share their pictures and personal information without having a fear of someone stalking them.

In another study, it was found by Facebook’s data scientists that an average post on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was seen by one third of a user’s Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) friends. Researchers observed 222,000 Facebook user’s posts last year in June and concluded that, in a course of the month, these posts reach 61 percent of their friends. But the study also revealed that the users undermine their social network, thinking their audience is just 27 percent of its true size.

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