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Facebook’s Abbreviated Privacy Update, Even More Abbreviated

Facebook’s Abbreviated Privacy Update, Even More Abbreviated
[Facebook: Twin Design / Shutterstock]

Keeping up with Facebook’s shape-shifting privacy terms can feel like tilting at windmills: It’s an impossible task for anyone, even the most digitally savvy among us. It’s why Facebook has taken it upon itself to demystify its privacy safeguards with friendlier, easier-to-understand language—but it’s still a lot to take in.

Today, for example, Facebook released an update to its privacy terms, which will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

Even though it’s a shorter and more colloquial explanation of Facebook’s privacy safeguards than previous updates, the update is still over 800 words. Here’s an even more condensed version:

Privacy Basics: The most notable new feature you should know about is Privacy Basics, which are interactive guides that walk Facebook users through tasks like posting public status updates, or limiting the audience of a post. It’s a commendable effort. But the fact that Facebook needs these walk-throughs speaks to just how sprawling and confusing Facebook’s privacy settings can be.

A Buy Button: Facebook is testing a button that will let you make purchases directly through Facebook. Facebook couches this as a way “to make transactions even more convenient”—but really it’s just another (smart) revenue stream that keeps you inside of Facebook’s blue borders.

Transactions: Facebook says: “We’re also working on new ways to make transactions even more convenient.” Peer-to-peer cash transfers over Messenger, maybe?

Streamlined Ads: Now if you see an ad that you don’t like on your iPhone, that ad won’t show up when you access Facebook on a desktop or on your tablet. This wasn’t the case before.

That’s the big stuff. You can read the rest here. If you have feedback for Facebook on any of these changes, you can leave a comment here.