Facebook is letting users form cliques as part of a move to give people more control of their information at the world's most popular online social network.
Until now, Facebook has made it easy to share with all of your friends or with everyone, but there hasn't been a simple way to create and maintain a space for sharing with the small communities of people in your life, like your roommates, classmates, co-workers and family. With the updated "Groups" feature, you can build a space for important groups of people in their life. It's a simple way to stay up to date with small groups of your friends and to share things with only them in a private space. The default setting is Closed, which means only members see what's going on in a group.
From this space, you can quickly post photos, make plans and keep up with ongoing conversations. You can also group chat with members who are online right now. You can even use each group as an email list to quickly share things when you're not on Facebook.
When a group member posts to the group, everyone in the group will receive a notification about that post.
Facebook has also added a bunch of new features to Groups to make sharing and communication with small groups of people easier. One of them is group chat, one of our most frequently requested features. Until now, you've only been able to chat with one person at a time on Facebook. Now you can chat with everyone in your group at once.
You can also use Groups as a replacement for mailing lists by setting up your group to send an email to you anytime anyone posts in it. You can even set up a group email address so members can keep in touch when they're not on Facebook?emails they send turn into posts in the group.
By default, new Groups are Closed. That means anything posted in the group is only visible to people in it. The name of the group and its members are still visible to everyone, so your friends can find the right group. You can also use the settings to create groups that have their name and members unlisted ("Secret"), or create groups that have more public settings ("Open").
Facebook has been also working on some other tools that will give you more control and make it easier to stay connected no matter what you're trying to do.
First, Facebook has built an easy way to quickly download to your computer everything you've ever posted on Facebook and all your correspondences with friends: your messages, Wall posts, photos, status updates and profile information.
If you want a copy of the information you've put on Facebook for any reason, you can click a link and easily get a copy of all of it in a single download. To protect your information, this feature is only available after confirming your password and answering appropriate security questions. Facebook will begin rolling out this feature to people later today, and you'll find it under your account settings.
Second, Facebook is launching a new dashboard to give you visibility into how applications use your data. As this rolls out, in your Facebook privacy settings, you will have a single view of all the applications you've authorized and what data they use. You can also see in detail when they last accessed your data. You can change the settings for an application to make less information available to it, or you can even remove it completely.