Facebook Emails Advertisers to Reassure Them About the Latest Privacy Changes

In case any advertisers on Facebook were concerned that yesterday’s privacy changes could impact them, the company sent out an email to all of them explaining that they’d be unaffected.

See the email below. Facebook is worried that advertisers have been troubled by the variety of confusing product launches and related issues over the past month. It is trying to clear any issues up now before people get so concerned that they stop spending money.

One note is that while yesterday’s changes won’t have a direct affect on advertisers, they do include better options lettings users hide their interests (which Pages they “Like”). If users decide they want to do this, their friends won’t be able to see the connections. This could make it more difficult for people to find and engage with Pages they may actually care about, reducing the overall effectiveness of the product — however, it’s not clear that any substantial number of users are hiding this information.

Here’s the email:


Facebook will roll out changes today that will make it easier for our users to understand and control their privacy settings. As this change will have an impact on our users, we wanted to let you, a valued advertising partner, know about it. Please note that this change will not affect your advertising campaigns and there is no action required on your part.

Facebook is a company that moves quickly, constantly innovating and launching new products to improve the user experience. The feedback we heard from users was that in our efforts to innovate, some of our privacy settings h ad become confusing.

We believe in listening to our users and taking their feedback into account whenever possible. We think the following changes address these concerns by providing users with more control over their privacy settings and making them more simple to use.

Starting today, Facebook will:

* Provide an easy-to-use “master” control that enables users to set who can see the content they share through Facebook. This enables users to choose, with just one click, the overall privacy level they’re comfortable with for the content they share on Facebook. Of course, users can still use all of the granular controls we’ve always offered, if they wish.
* Significantly reduce the amount of information that must be visible to everyone on Facebook. Facebook will no longer require that users’ friends and connections are visible to everyone. Only Name, Profile Picture, Networks and Gender must be publicly available. Users can opt to make all other connections private.
* Make it simple to control whether other applications and websites access any user information.

While a majority of our users love Facebook apps and Facebook-enhanced websites, some may prefer not to share their information outside of Facebook. Users can now opt out with just one click.

I encourage you to take a moment to read our CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s blog post and check out the new Facebook Privacy Page.


The Facebook Ads Team

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7 Responses to “Facebook Emails Advertisers to Reassure Them About the Latest Privacy Changes”

  1. Barry Schnitt says:

    Good post but there is some evidence to support that the opposite will be true for fanning/liking pages. That is, if you read a lot of the coverage recently, there seems to be an appetite among people to fan/like pages but not share that information with the world. Ryan Singel from WIRED made a big deal about this in his column and it received a lot of attention. Specifically, he says: I’d like to support an anti-abortion group without my mother or the world knowing. Cannot.
    Well, for the first time, he can and so can anyone else. It’s too early to tell what actually happens but it is possible for page fanning to increase because of the new control. We’ve seen this in lots of other instances where people end up being much more active because they have more control. For example, I share a party pic because I can hide it from my boss. Yes, I used a control to not share with one person but it also facilitated my sharing with 10 others. Why wouldn’t the same be true with pages I fan/like?
    Finally, others aren’t reading your post closely and coming away with the conclusion that if people use their privacy settings our advertising system breaks. As you know and as Mark said clearly, nothing could be further from the truth because advertisers don’t get personal data (except in one rare instance that was a mistake). They don’t get public data and they don’t get private data of the people shown their ads. If I as an individual users make all of my information public I will see the same ads
    as I would if I made all of my information private. This is counter-intuitive and I think that’s why so many people keep propagating the misconception.

    Barry Schnitt
    Director, Policy Communications

  2. Ryan says:

    I would like to be the only non Facebook rep on this page. Facebook has already secretly and publicly sold your personal information. Myspace which for those who dont remember was the last social media fad has already started selling their old data to marketers. Mark and no one else on the internet cares about your privacy. Mark had actually been quoted as saying people in college were stupid for giving him information, when he stole Facebook. We are just stupid for giving that evil man any of our personal information he cant get the $$$$ out of his eyes.

  3. John says:

    The email links to marketing information for the new privacy page, but clicking through my privacy settings shows it’s still same old privacy settings page. Anyone else have that problem?

  4. Craig Pugh says:

    I’ve had enough of facebook. I trusted my personal information was only being shown to my friends… As I’d set it.

    I’ve always found knowing how to set my privacy to be a nightmare, I didn’t really ‘care’ about what content I’d posted or who could see it.

    Then in when I heard of the controversial move by Facebook in December, I checked my privacy and some HAD changed to public. The new privacy changes don’t make me feel good either- Read this clipping from TechCrunch technology news:

    ‘The new privacy controls Facebook announced Wednesday were met with criticism the following day from privacy groups that called the new policies inadequate.

    In a conference call on Thursday, representatives of the groups insisted on a Federal Trade Commission investigation of the social networking giant and regulatory oversight.

    They also questioned Facebook’s commitment to privacy and its honesty. ‘

    I’ve found an awesome alternative that pays AND puts us back in control. A site that has a new and unique concept, which aims to create potential millionaires out of it’s members.

    It’s been created out of frustration at the way social networking sites handle our privacy and just how much control we have over it. I think when it does catch on, facebook and the stale old social networking concept may become a past fad, just like MySpace has now. ‘Every generation, needs a new revolution’.

    Check it out for yourself, make sure you read the ‘About’ page, even that’s unique. http://www.Talliaire.com (Let me know if you think the concept is as interesting as I do… I love it!)

  5. Craig Pugh says:

    Correction sorry, the above clipping was taken from TechNewsWorld.com:


  6. Facebook To Advertisers: New Privacy Controls Immaterial | Defamer Australia says:

    [...] Facebook’s Eric Eldon got his hands on an email Facebook sent to advertisers, assuring them that “this change will not affect your [...]

  7. siteIT social media מדיה חברתית says:

    אפשר לראות שפייסבוק עושים ככל שביכולתם לשפר את התדמית שנוצרה להם ברשת בכל הקשור לזליגות מידע אישי אודות המשתמשים.
    אנחו המשתמשים רק נרוויח מכך בטווח הארוך.

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