No More 'Friends of Friends' Restriction
"Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard," Facebook said on its site. "While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social-media services."
It is true that most Facebook users do not chose to share their content publicly, but just as a 30-year-old may have something useful to share with a wider audience, so may a 16-year-old. While there are definitely valid privacy concerns regarding young teenagers sharing content to a large audience, social networks such as Twitter already allow for it.
Various studies from Pew Internet Research and others have repeatedly shown that the 13-17 age group is one of the most important for social networks. While the adoption rates for Twitter and Facebook have been high for both adults and young teens, people in the youngest age groups tend to be on both social networks more frequently.
Although some teens may choose to utilize the more open option now being offered by Facebook, the majority are expected to continue opting for the more private setting.
According to Pew's 2013 Teen Social Media study, "60% of teen Facebook users set their Facebook profiles to private (friends only), and most report high levels of confidence in their ability to manage their settings."
Cyber Safety Alert
As we see from Pew's statistics, a minority of teens are currently like to share their information and personal Facebook posts with the rest of the world. However, those that opt to share pictures and posts with the general public could be putting themselves at risk.
Although most teen Facebook users report high confidence in being able to manage their settings, it can still be risky business, as Facebook keeps changing the rules and settings.
At the very least, parents should discuss the risks and new rules with their children to ensure they understand the possible implications of posting personal photos and other content to the general public. Once pictures and private details are shared online, they're out there for the world to see. Unfortunately a non-private choice of posting to "everyone" includes pedophiles and plenty of others with bad intent.
Posted: 2013-10-20 @ 11:13am PT
Teens don't really use facebook. Facebook is now for old people and businesses. Teens are now using SnapChat, Instagram, Ravetree, etc.