Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Facebook Opening Up For The Public 132

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-to-know-you-getting-to-know-all-about-you dept.
Krishna Dagli writes to mention a BusinessWeek article about a move by Facebook to open up to the public. Up until now, in order to join Facebook you had to be an alumnus from certain High Schools, Colleges, or companies. Soon, individuals living in any one of 500 'geographic regions' can sign up. From the article: "People who joined Facebook because it was primarily a school-focused network may feel that it's losing a key distinction. As with the 'news feed' announcement, reception to this overhaul will come down to how well Facebook communicates. For the average student at New York University, for instance, little changes. The only people who can browse his profile before were other NYU students and that will stay the same. The change simply allows for 500 new groups to form that all operate independently on the Facebook platform. No one can browse all 9 million registered users."
Update: 09/12 16:29 GMT by Z : Fixed latin conjugation. Mrs. Tomlinson would be so proud.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook Opening Up For The Public

Comments Filter:
  • by Siberwulf (921893) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @08:49AM (#16087849)
    How is this different than MySpace now? other than the fact that now sexual predators know that a majority of the memebers are coeds?
    • Facebook helps them by only allowing them to see people who "share groups"

      So no more having to travel 5000 miles to find their prey, FB autocategorizes it for them already!
      • Alright, so I am deeply sad that I cant share the exact cut and paste with you but today I open up facebook and there is a message from the administrators (like they sent during the news feed deal) and part of it was talking about privacy and how only people who were in your school and suck would be able to see you. An exact quote went something like "no random people will be able to see your profile".

        To me, letting anyone join sounds like random people. You see a person you want to look at and it says

    • by keyshawn632 (726102) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:30AM (#16088040) Journal
      Eh, besides the ability to make your profile really tacky by having a god-awful color scheme, flash, and a music stream; only noticible difference [between facebook and myspace] that I see is that you must 'friend' the other person in order to see their entire profile.

      However, If you're not their 'friend', their name still comes up in the search engine and you can still see their name, school, a profile picture/avatar, and who they have listed as their friends. Although the information coming up in the search engine seems like a bit much, you can configure it so that your information does not come up in the search engine.
      The caveat with that, though, is that no one outside of your school network can make a friend request to you. You would have to initiate all friend requests.

      As a college student and facebook user, Facebook jumped the shark a long time ago .
      (adding high school, companies onto there, the status updates...)

      I'm not looking forward to having random middle-aged men sending me friend requests on facebook (I got these even as a male on myspace, and the college ladies will have their inboxes filled... *shudders*)
      • by SeaFox (739806)
        I'm not looking forward to having random middle-aged men sending me friend requests on facebook (I got these even as a male on myspace, and the college ladies will have their inboxes filled... *shudders*)

        Good thing you added in that parentheseed part, you almost got added as a friend to a bunch of middle aged nerds' user pages!
      • by Gyppo (982168)
        only noticible difference [between facebook and myspace] that I see is that you must 'friend' the other person in order to see their entire profile.

        That's actually not true. By default, myspace profiles are visible by everybody, even non-logged in users. You have to explicitly set your profile to private to prevent non-friends from viewing your profile.
        • by AnyoneEB (574727)
          And on Facebook the profile is by default "private" to anyone not on the same network(s) that you are. I believe you and the GP are agreeing.
      • by Firehed (942385)
        The caveat with that, though, is that no one outside of your school network can make a friend request to you. You would have to initiate all friend requests.

        That a new policy? I can try to friend request whomever I want, at least as of a few hours ago.
        • Yeah, but how do you know that they exist on the facebook network (it's because you clicked on their name in a group, someone's wall, or found them in the search engine) ?

          The option that I described (you have to go a bit deep into your privacy settings to change it) is that your name will no longer come up in the search engine and if your name is displayed in a group, someone else's wall or friend's list, your name will be displayed in black text instead of a blue hyperlink that directs you to their smal
      • As a college student and facebook user, Facebook jumped the shark a long time ago .

        The thing that amazes me is that so many people did not see it coming. Myspace sold for about half a billion and Facebook wanted (several months ago) $2 billion in order to consider a buyout.

        What would make a company with (at the time) about 1/10th the users think itself 4x more valuable?

        a.) the fact that they ravage their user database and sell it to the highest bidder (which myspace can't due to the fact that the informat
    • by Garse Janacek (554329) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:38AM (#16088069)
      Well, facebook generally doesn't make the backs of my eyeballs feel like they're on fire, the way the page design on myspace usually does...
      • by B11 (894359)
        Yeah, myspace pages can get pretty bad, although many of us have been using CSS techniques and div overlays to make the pages decent. And for me, being on myspace is more of a matter of convenience. I can send a bulletin out to friends all out once quickly (and vise-versa), and if I meet someone, I can tell them to send me a "myspace." Little commitment or risk, and a universal medium. Pls I don't have my cell phone number out there to the world.
    • Its been my experience as of late that myspace has gotten sloppy, slow, and quite simply stupid. I get tons of friend requests from Advertisement profiles, and even though there's less stuff filling the screen it still seems to be clunkier than facebook. Myspace is going to die a slow, painful death in my opinion simply because facebook really does have more going for it.
  • by finkployd (12902) * on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @08:54AM (#16087869) Homepage
    People, if you have no caught on to this yet, a lot of employers have people at a lot of schools pulling facebook profiles for their HR dept. Some undergrad they pay, nephew of the CEO attending classes, a staff member, whatever. Your facebook profile WILL be seen outside of the fantasy restrictions you think facebook puts on it. They are under no obligation to honor those restrictions anyway, they could open up the whole thing tomorrow to the world and there is nothing you can do about it. The content you put on it is theirs, not yours, and they can license it to whomever they want or distribute it as they see fit. Read the ToS agreement.

    Finkployd
    • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:19AM (#16087993) Homepage
      This goes for anything that you post publically including your blog, your gallery, your Slashdot posts, your old usenet posts, your random Dodgeball history, etc.

      Be aware of what you are posting out there and that it is likely that it will be archived *forever* in some way for others to look at.

      We're not all going to get off as scott free as Arnold, Bill, and George when we're looking for a job and someone has evidence of our past history in hand.
      • by mdwh2 (535323)
        This goes for anything that you post publically including your blog, your gallery, your Slashdot posts, your old usenet posts, your random Dodgeball history, etc.

        True, but the thing about Facebook is the information is not public in the sense of viewable by all - so if it turns out that they then retain the right to publish the information to all, then that is something to be worried about. This isn't the same as Slashdot making your Slashdot posts public, because they're already public, and you know that w
        • by garcia (6573)
          True, but the thing about Facebook is the information is not public in the sense of viewable by all - so if it turns out that they then retain the right to publish the information to all, then that is something to be worried about.

          It's the Internet. Anyone and everyone can get the information that is out there regardless of the easily circumvented restrictions put in place by the website.
          • by AnyoneEB (574727)

            Darn, I really should stop e-banking and shopping online, then.

            But, seriously, Facebook profiles are (by default) visible to a lot of people, but not everyone. That does not mean one can reasonably expect the information to be kept from a specific person: we are talking about how easy it is to simply ask someone on that person's school network to look at their profile. On the other hand, Facebook has a Privacy Policy [facebook.com], and it is reasonable to expect them to folow it.

        • ...so if it turns out that they then retain the right to publish the information to all, then that is something to be worried about.

          Gentlemen, start your worrying.

          By posting Member Content to any part of the Web site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, perform, display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or

      • by jZnat (793348) *
        This goes for anything that you post publically including your blog, your gallery, your Slashdot posts, your old usenet posts, your random Dodgeball history, etc.
        At least you continue to own the copyright to these things.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Quaoar (614366)
        Funny story:

        We were looking for a room-mate to replace a roomie of mine who was moving out. We post an ad on Craigslist, this dude responds and comes over to meet us. Everything seems fine...the guy is nice, polite, seems like he would have no problem playing the rent...

        We tell the guy that we'll probably let you move in, but we have to talk to our other room-mate first to make sure he was cool with it (he wasn't home at the time). On a hunch, I type in the guy's name on Google...

        First hit turns up
        • Was his name John Smith?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ericspinder (146776)

          So I guess the lesson is, the Internet can completely ruin your reputation, and close doors where you wouldn't expect it to.

          The second lesson is that names are not unique. If you didn't have corroborating evidence of his identity, such as SS number, age, previous addresses, it's just as likely that you held one man to account for another man's poor reputation.

          There are background checks available on the Internet which are fairly 'cheap' (well, a lot cheaper than 2 months of back rent), and I would highl

          • by Quaoar (614366)
            Except that we knew his full name (which was rather uncommon) from the check he wrote us, his age, his profession (law), and his city of origin. The report which explains why his bar certification was stripped contains all of these details, which he corraborated with his own words.

            I'd agree with you if his name was "John Smith" and that's all we knew about him, but in this case, there was no doubt that this was the same person.
          • Um...I'm assuming that if you found dirt on someone saying they were in a porno you would at least investigate as far as looking at a box cover to make match a face. So yes, names are not unique, but faces and penises sure are.

      • by aussersterne (212916) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @01:05PM (#16089576) Homepage
        Ahhh, once again someone suggests that we should all hide our personhood behind the facade of "vanilla-flavored, grey-colored worker" in order to sustain a living. Well you don't live forever, folks. So if you make nothing to leave behind you now but the pinstripes on your suit, that's all that will remain of you once you're gone.

        I got on the subway this morning with just such a pack of yes-men. I couldn't tell them apart. Suits, hairdos, shiny little shoes, bland ties. They are all dead, unimportant, lost to history, no matter how big their bank accounts. They don't even matter to their friends or families beyond being "breadwinner." They could just as easily be any other hollow suit.

        No thanks. If you want me to be a hollow suit, I don't want to work for you. Take your money and go rape the third world somewhere.
        • I find it hard to believe that you aren't lost to history as well (I know I am).
        • by garcia (6573)
          Obviously you haven't read my site that's linked to my profile but if you had you would have realized that I don't make my writings and gallery posts "vanilla".

          I'm just reminding people that they shouldn't be surprised if they get spit out of a job interview because they talk about their weeknight drinking habbits, fuck buddies, and allude to "inappropriate" behavior.
        • "I got on the subway this morning with just such a pack of yes-men. I couldn't tell them apart. Suits, hairdos, shiny little shoes, bland ties. They are all dead, unimportant, lost to history, no matter how big their bank accounts. They don't even matter to their friends or families beyond being "breadwinner." They could just as easily be any other hollow suit."

          Just out of curiosity, what were you basing your sweeping assumptions of their personal lives, their bank accounts, their friends and their family

    • Only a member or alumnus of the institution can see more than picture and name. Otherwise you have to be given permission by the person.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by finkployd (12902)
        Riiiight. So please re-read my post.

        Employers can easily find an alumnus (thank you for using the correct plural btw), current student, or staff member, who for a fee (or just because they are friends) will print/save-to-pdf/cut-and-past/etc. job applicant's profiles. Do YOU trust every single person in your university with a university email address?

        Finkployd
        • It can be locked down so that unless the employer finds a "friend" they can't see the profile. I don't see how everyone with a university e-mail address can see the profile if you set your permissions properly unless Facebook changes the rules. Which admittedly they could.
          • by rifter (147452)

            It can be locked down so that unless the employer finds a "friend" they can't see the profile. I don't see how everyone with a university e-mail address can see the profile if you set your permissions properly unless Facebook changes the rules. Which admittedly they could.

            According to the TOS they could also sell your information to the highest bidder, or repackage it as a service to potential employers. "Oh look here's their blogging history. One more thing to check in addition to drug tests, background

    • by Typingsux (65623)
      So you're going to tell your employer about your alias finkployd?

      None need to know mine that I use here and other places, besides I've stumbled upon it being used by others.

      Tinfoil hat, check
    • by gcr278s (1001983)
      It depends on your privacy settings. As it is for me only my friends can view my profile. If you go look for me you will get my default pic and what school I go to and when I graduate. If people are worried then they just need to click one box.
  • by Simon Garlick (104721) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @08:58AM (#16087893)
    Latin, motherf*cker, do you speak it?!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by operagost (62405)
      Not only that, but you don't need to be an alumnus-- you can be an undergraduate. It was my impression that most of the Facebook users are undergrads.
  • No one? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cerberusss (660701) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:02AM (#16087906) Homepage Journal
    No one can browse all 9 million registered users."
    No one, except the owning company.
  • by thoriphes (984506) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:05AM (#16087923)
    There are already sites like MySpace and Friendster in the scene, we don't need Facebook to become one of them. The beauty of Facebook was that it was somewhat of a closed community where people were on the same level, if you will. College is a society on its own and Facebook allows the sharing of a lot of commonalities and close-knit ties with people in your campus as well as others. If you open the floodgates for the public, you'll just bring in an onslaught of stalkers (the newsfeed only makes things worse). There's already been quite the resentment for allowing high-schoolers to sign up for Facebook, what now for the common public?
    • by OakDragon (885217) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:27AM (#16088024) Journal
      The beauty of Facebook was that it was somewhat of a closed community where people were on the same level, if you will. College is a society on its own and Facebook allows the sharing of a lot of commonalities and close-knit ties with people in your campus as well as others.

      I think you hit the nail on the head here. (I know you're right; you agree with me!) This is the way I have observed college students using Facebook. (I haven't been a student for a few years, but I know some.) I think this might actually hurt Facebook in the long run. Call it over-reaching, feature creep or what have you. Companies often kill the golden-egged goose because they begin to want silver and ruby eggs, too.

      • by dorango (1001897)
        There students who are already working on an alternative to Facebook that truly is college only. It's only been up a week, but the site is decent for what they've had to work with. http://www.replacefacebook.com./ [www.replacefacebook.com] Their claim is that the site is to be run by the students through use of in site voting/discussion mechanisms.
    • by smallpaul (65919)

      If you open the floodgates for the public, you'll just bring in an onslaught of stalkers (the newsfeed only makes things worse). There's already been quite the resentment for allowing high-schoolers to sign up for Facebook, what now for the common public?

      I have no interest in or love for facebook. But I find it intensely irritating that people in this thread are not even reading nor responding to the Slashdot summary, much less the article:

      For the average student at New York University, for instanc

  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@@@optonline...net> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:07AM (#16087929) Journal

    ...whoop-dee-dooooo! If you find some use for it, great, but the fact is, I can build my own personal web site to do all the communicating with others I need, and I can control the content, and I don't have to worry about the vagueries of someone deciding to change the rules. Facebook, like MySpace, is overrated.

    • But can you automatically hook it into a network of millions from the getgo?

      And what prevents you from controlling the content you post on your facebook page? After logging into Facebook, do your fingers go all "typing gone wild"?

      I'm no fan of facebook (yes, I have an account. No, I never use it), but I'll recognize that it makes connecting to a specifically targetted group (up until now, college students) MUCH easier than creating your own site and promoting it on relevant sites to mixed results.
      • "But can you automatically hook it into a network of millions from the getgo?"

        Yes, it's called the "internet". I hear it's a network of millions of networks.
        • That anyone with any experience in launching a website on a mass scale knows costs either lots of time or lots of money to elicit people to visit. In a network of networks where anything and everything can be found, it's hard to be seen. It's common sense. If you build it, they don't always come. This mistake is made by Internet start-ups time and time again. If you doubt me, why is SEO such a profitable market (despite the fact that many of the firms are scammers that will actually get you banned from
  • by shoptroll (544006) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:08AM (#16087933)
    I bet there's going to be a merger at some point. Coming soon: FaceSpace!
  • Humor (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SirLestat (452396) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:11AM (#16087948)
    Look at what I found just this morning, what a coincidence: http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1707663 [collegehumor.com]. That is also why I try not put any personal information on the web.
  • by Deinhard (644412) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:13AM (#16087956)
    I'm much removed from the social networking sites such as FaceBook (by time) and MySpace (by desire) but it seemed to me that the main advantage of FaceBook was that it was a relatively safe place for HS and College students to meet and interact.

    Now, with the addition of millions of potential users, it seems (as others have said) that the site should become MyFaceBook.

    Why can't site operators (even those that pay millions for established market share) realize that they can make a reasonable profit within niche markets? That was the entire purpose behind the original "Virtual Community" concept of the late 90s. People can belong to multiple niches and can receive targeted messages based on the site they are currently visiting.

    I could keep moaning and bitching, but it would just lead to a rant...
    • by eht (8912)
      It still is a niche market, now with 500 more niches.
    • In all fairness, they are not really "opening it up" to the public. They are simply adding more (500 more) "niches" that hapen to be non-school related. As long as those niches are workplaces or similar (and not NAMBLA or similar), I think it will be fine.

      FaceBook is not allowing people to search or browse outside their shares, just providing their service to more people.

      Think of it this way, FaceBook was a shelf with many different containers. People could only search within their containers. FaceBook is n
    • by JimBobJoe (2758)
      but it seemed to me that the main advantage of FaceBook was that it was a relatively safe place for HS and College students to meet and interact.

      There might have been a perceived psychological safety with Facebook (and it truly was psychologocal...I think it's easier to make an argument that Myspace was safer because it was easier to be anonymous on it.)

      Having said that, the main advantage to Facebook was its nifty hierarchichal design. It was easy to find a John Smith, whether they are at an unknown colleg
    • "Why can't site operators (even those that pay millions for established market share) realize that they can make a reasonable profit within niche markets? That was the entire purpose behind the original "Virtual Community" concept of the late 90s. People can belong to multiple niches and can receive targeted messages based on the site they are currently visiting. "

      As an advertising professional, let me sum it up for you.

      Yes, niche markets are where its at right now. What these sites do is enable people to

  • Replace Facebook (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dorango (1001897) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:16AM (#16087972)
    A group of students decided to replace Facebook with a student built and operated site... If Facebook really has lost touch with its userbase, perhaps these guys can offer a decent alternative to MySpace/Facebook for students. http://digg.com/software/Outraged_Students_Replace _Facebook [digg.com] I signed up, it's a little low on features, but they've only had a week. I think it's something to keep an eye on. -Dorango
  • It's beyond me wy Facebook is doing something like this a a week after pissing of at least a ninth of its active membership. Last week browising all the outrage groups that sprung up, many people said that they felt the site lost its way when it let High School students join. While allowing outside access to Facebook is quite clearly the best buisness route to take, the question that comes up is whether or not it alienates its original niche? The immediate answer is no; college sutdents still will use Face
  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768@comca ... t minus caffeine> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:25AM (#16088020) Journal
    was the fact it NEEDED my university email to allow me to join. My school doesnt allow allum to have free email addresses, only students. While its cheap to get it, I saw no need to have a 5th email address. But facebook refused to let me sign up as a allum without one, so I said fuck it. Maybe if they would understand that not all schools allow thier students to keep emails then maybe more people might sign up to it.
    • Are you kidding? That's the best thing about facebook. I'm sorry it kept you out, but it also greatly raises the barrier for creepy old men to get on, pretending to be college students.
      • Hate to tell you, but many creepy old men ARE college students these days. Half my department was over the age of 35 going back to school for new certifications or going back to finish their BS.
    • by JonLatane (750195)
      Actually, this is a feature. Most universities don't just give an email address to just anyone, so this makes sure that the person registering is in fact a student. And you only need it for a short time; if you don't want to keep it, just get the address (which lets them confirm you're a student), sign up, change your primary email, and cancel your university account. It's just to keep creepy people off the university networks (we've got enough of 'em already).
    • I ran into the same problem. Part of the issue with Facebook is that it basically completely locked out people who graduated before it was released who didn't get a free email from their school afterwards, which is quite a large group of users. Personally, I think it could have become a much more "prestidigous" service had it resolved that issue as I'm sure many alums would have loved to use it to get in touch with old school friends. Terrible mistake on their behalf because guess what target demographic
  • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:26AM (#16088023)
    I'm a college student on Facebook (yes, I'm sure you can find the profile if you look, there's nothing bad on there). I know that I, and many of my facebook friends are in these geographic regions networks as well as college networks. I'm in the Washington, DC one, for example, so that means that now people who just live in DC can view my profile, not just college or high school students from DC. I don't think most college kids realize that.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That's why you use the privacy settings that the program has had since its inception, and only allow your friends to see your profile. Don't be stupid.
  • by DeusExMalex (776652) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @09:28AM (#16088030)
    Great. Now I get to be harrassed by townies on the Internet, too. Profile = private.
  • Soon? (Score:1, Informative)

    by liryon (804280)
    The writeup says soon, but facebook has been allowing sign-ups for geogrphical regions for months now. Old news, move along.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tmjr3353 (925558)
      You can join regional networks once you're already a member, but you can not sign up through a regional network yet. The drop-down box still only lists: college, high school and work as candidates.
  • No one? (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheSeventh (824276)
    > No one can browse all 9 million registered users.

    Except of course, for the site owners, and the government. Thanks to GW and the DHS, the government has access to all of Myspace, facebook, friendster, etc. Because you know terrorists are big on facebook. They like to create groups like "Facebook is for infidels" and "I just started a jihad 5 minutes ago".

    Consider anything you put on there easily enough open to anybody. It's not difficult to create university email addresses, which is why places, f
  • "Where is Facebook? Is it safe? Is it alright? Nooooooooooo!"
  • I have no idea why Facebook and Myspace are so popular when an actually useful social networking site like dodgeball exists. No stupid comments, no stupid bulletins, just a website used to help meet up with your friends and get out of your house!
  • When the closed up (in a worse degree) service known as Orkut that uses the euphemism of "Trusted Friends" to soften up the word elitism opens up and is otherwise unaltered. Facebook - it's known that it could be open.
  • Around here (Stanford), Facebook is only used at all by the undergrad girls because they know it's only college students, and thus they don't feel total vulnerable posting private info. The guys only use it to stalk them. And both are just clueless kids really, but smart enough to avoid MySpace at least.

    Or at least that's the impression I get, I'm too old to "get" why posting private info is ever good, and the campus directory works fine for me, and IS private.

    So I'd say Facebook is now R.I.P. Women will le
  • The great part about requiring a college email address was that it was a great way to prevent spammers from signing up. I can sign into Facebook, check some stuff out and not come away with my inbox being full of friend requests from crappy Jam bands, wanna be stand up Comedians, and fake profiles for webcam sites. I'm not a heavy facebook user by any means, but if the spam becomes as bad as MySpace then my usage will drop to nonexistant.
  • thats the way i see it, im an avid user of facebook, its a lot simpler(used to be) and a little more private than myspace. this new change could be really good, i have a few friends how didnt go to college and id like to keep up with them. It might end up being a great way to meet local friends with similar interests. But im a 19 year old guy, who internet-savvy and is cautiuos about new friend requests from people i dont know. I sure as hell dont think its a good idea if its opening high school age kids
  • Awesome, now I can get on Facebook and register with France as my region, so that only french people can see my profile. Makes me feel so much more secure than if Canadians or Germans could see my profile...
  • They may as well go register the domain myspace.edu since they're now the bastard child of a smart concept for college students/alumni and that cesspool of social gangrene.

HOST SYSTEM RESPONDING, PROBABLY UP...

Working...