Today Facebook officially launched a beta version of the new publisher controls which enables users to publish to anybody. You can set custom privacy settings for every single post that you publish to your stream, making granular privacy settings even more widespread. Want to publish to everybody on Facebook? Now you can. Perhaps you only want to make a story visible to your friends that are in your “Family” friend list. That’s possible as well.
This is a direct attack on Twitter who currently has two options: public and private. This is honestly a huge move forward for publishing information. The privacy settings that you implement for each story will also carry over to the stream.get API call. One other interesting component of this feature is that you will be able to view all new friends’ stories that they’ve published with the privacy setting “everyone”.
Facebook has been taking one step after another to try to build in Twitter functionality within their system and I have to say that this new version of publishing is a huge step forward. Being able to post stories as inside jokes among a limited set of friends is extremely valuable. For example I have friends that found me through AllFacebook and some stories that I publish are more relevant to them.
This new model of grouping users and providing targeted publishing present a whole new set of possibilities for content publishing on the web.