Get clued-up on Facebook’s Updated Terms &… Many of you will have already seen a notification when you log into Facebook, stating: ‘By using our services after January 1, 2015, you agree to our updated terms, data policy, and cookies policy and to seeing improved ads based on apps and sites you use. Learn more below about these updates and how to control the ads you see.’ Yet another change in the social media platform’s privacy terms, this time Facebook has made an effort to lay their cards out on the table and try to make it clear exactly what its shift in privacy safeguard means, for both consumers and marketers. Their aim is to help all users to “understand how Facebook works and how to control your information”, allowing an element of decision-making on the user’s behalf. Although it is shorter and written in a more easily understandable manner, there is still a lot to take in – the update is over 800 words – so we’ve pulled out some of the key points from the social giant’s changes: PRIVACY BASICS In the latest step to help users make sure they are sharing content with the people they want, interactive guides will be available, answering the most commonly asked questions about how you control your information on Facebook – e.g. untagging, blocking and limiting the audience of a post. Although this lets users to take charge of their experience on Facebook, does this highlight how complicated these settings are by having to outline every step of the way…? GETTING MORE OUT OF FACEBOOK With millions of people using Facebook’s apps and services, these latest updates are expected to improve the users’ experience and make them easier to understand. Location, location, location: One of Facebook’s policy updates involves improving information and relevancy based on where you are and what your friends are up to, depending on what features you use. For businesses like retailers, restaurants, bars and venues, this is worth taking note of as location information advances. Buy via Facebook: The social media platform is testing a Buy button in some regions, helping users to discover and purchase products without having to leave, aiming to make transactions even more convenient. A smart revenue stream to keep an eye out for. Understanding how Facebook use information: This lets Facebook determine how well their apps work on your device, according to pieces of information like signal strength, battery and location. Welcome to the Facebook family: Locked out of your Instagram? Use your Facebook information to recover your password. This is where the brand’s constantly growing umbrella of companies, apps and services can be beneficial, making it clear that: ‘Nothing in our updates changes the commitments that Instagram, WhatsApp and other companies have made to protect your information and your privacy.’ Touching on how users’ information is shared with advertisers, Facebook state that ‘nothing is changing with these updates – we help advertisers reach people with relevant ads without telling them who you are.’ IMPROVEMENT TO ADS At a time when cross platform media consumption is the norm, Facebook has responded to this culture shift so if you see an advert you don’t like on your phone, it won’t show up when you access it on a tablet or desktop. This allows users to control the types of ads they see across multiple devices, opting out of seeing ads which automatically applies to all the devices you use to access Facebook. The platform are also making ad preferences available in additional countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK. The future of Facebook for marketers and users? So, this is all big news for both consumers and brands. While users may be pleased to hear of this move towards having more control over the adverts they see and divulging information, for brands this could be a warning sign especially for those who have spent a lot of time, effort and money into Facebook advertising. Will this still be a valuable route if consumers now have the option of opting out of seeing ads? Are people getting tired of this side of the platform, rebelling against it and are sensitive in terms of what information they share? All we can say for now is to be mindful of Facebook’s updates for the New Year and to have other marketing approaches and alternatives for promoting adverts in the digital space.