Facebook has announced a major overhaul of its community of friends, with the social network now allowing users to create their own groups.
The announcement comes after more than two years of negotiations with US and EU regulators, who said that the social media giant failed to adequately protect the privacy of its users.
“We have listened to your feedback and are making some significant improvements to improve the way Facebook users interact with each other and the content they share,” the company said in a blog post.
The news comes after Facebook was criticised for not adequately protecting the privacy and safety of users after revelations of the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting information on millions of its citizens.
In the wake of the revelations, Facebook announced plans to give users the ability to create a group to discuss their issues, or create an individual page for themselves.
This would allow users to interact and share content on the platform, with Facebook giving the ability for users to link to specific pages from within the group.
“Our goal is to give our users the freedom to connect and share their content on Facebook and to engage with others in a more meaningful way,” the Facebook community said in the announcement.
“The ability to connect, and to form groups, will be a powerful new feature for people who want to engage and connect with people on the Internet.”
However, privacy advocates say the announcement will be insufficient.
“This is the first step in a long road to transparency, but the next step is really important,” Daniel Rauch, a technology and internet policy researcher at the New America Foundation told Al Jazeera.
“Facebook’s plan to make it easier for users and their friends to build their own communities on the social networking site is one step in the right direction.
However, the company still has a long way to go before it is ready to truly be a community of people.”‘
Unwillingness to work together’The decision comes in the wake a series of high-profile cases, including the mass surveillance of US citizens by the NSA, where the company has been criticised for the failure to protect users privacy.
The Facebook community says the new features will allow users “to create their groups, join them, and communicate more freely”.
The company said that users will be able to link their profiles to other users, allowing for sharing of content.
The move comes as the social platform has also begun to roll out new features aimed at helping people stay safe online.
A new tool called SafeBrowsing helps users understand how to filter out content that may be potentially harmful to their health and safety.
This will also allow users who have a “high risk” of suicide, sexual assault, or drug use to check if content they find is actually related to the user.
Facebook also announced a new feature called “SafetyCheck”, which will automatically detect if a user has an “anti-social personality disorder”, a condition that can cause people to be excessively angry, controlling, and controlling.
Users can now check if a post or picture is from a known or suspected anti-social person, or they can filter out posts or pictures they do not find relevant to the person.
Facebook has also introduced a new social sharing feature called ‘Safe Moments’, which will allow people to share pictures of loved ones, friends, and places with family members.
“Safe Moments will allow you to share photos with your family, friends and loved ones in a way that is both personal and meaningful,” the announcement said.
“If you are in a situation where you may feel unsafe, or if someone else in your life feels unsafe, Safe Moments will let you share that experience with others.”
The announcement follows the launch of a new app for users called ‘Tinder’, which lets users meet new people and connect to other people.