Is It Always Good to Share Online?

The Journal (Newcastle, England), November 28, 2011 | Go to article overview

Is It Always Good to Share Online?


Byline: Luke Browell

WHERE Google has made the web accessible to users, social media sites are making it relevant to users' lives.

'Facebook.com' is typed in four times more than any other web address such as Google in our address bars, suggesting that social media is no longer just a 'fad', or even something many of us just use on the internet - it has become the very way in which we now use the internet.

In the past you would search on Google to find information on a product or service. Now, due to ease, people are more likely to ask for advice from friends within their social network. In effect, social media has transformed the gloomy online forums of yesteryear into the place-to-be of today.

Recent studies show that internet users spend an average of six hours per week on Facebook in contrast to a mere one hour 20 minutes on Google. With users spending so much time on social media sites, it is essential that providers such as Facebook make the experience as relevant and personal to the user as possible. To enable this it is necessary that a user's identity is visible to sites within a social network's business group. For example, if you visit a website in the same browser that you have logged into your Facebook page or when you 'like' a company or brand, it is technically feasible for your Facebook identity to be shared with other Facebook-group sites, even if those sites do not carry an obvious Facebook brand.

In the end, this debate is more about public perception of who they are sharing their data with than any real issue of security.

With more than 225 billion Facebook Ad impressions and Facebook ad-click through rates increasing by 18.5% in the last quarter, it is evident that both advertiser and user experiences are being shaped by our shared information.

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Is It Always Good to Share Online?
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