Facebook is rolling out a new simplified privacy model for Groups: Public or Private. Secret groups are disappearing – sort of.
“For Facebook Groups, people have historically been able to choose between being public, closed or secret settings for their group,” wrote Product Manager for Facebook Groups Jordan Davis. “To better match people’s expectations and help provide more clarity, we’re rolling out a new simplified privacy model for Groups — public and private.”
Simplification is always welcome, especially when it concerns the behemoth that Facebook has become. But the move got people worried that the platform would be getting rid of secret groups, where you could have these very private interactions no-one outside your community could know about.
But that is not the case. While Facebook Groups now have only two basic privacy settings – public and private – Facebook is keeping the setting that allows for groups to be hidden in search, hence rendering them “secret.”
To be clear: Closed groups will now be known as “Private and Visible in Search”, while Secret groups will now be “Private and Hidden in Search.”
Facebook made the change because users were confused about what “secret” actually meant:
“We’re making this change because we’ve heard from people that they want more clarity about the privacy settings for their groups. We’ve also heard that most people prefer to use the terms ‘public’ and ‘private’ to describe the privacy settings of groups they belong to.”
Whether you want your group to be public, private, visible or hidden, keep in mind that Groups are going to be Facebook’s focus for the coming years.