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Facebook has ended the classification of its members into regional networks (i.e., “Peter Krasilovsky, San Diego”). It cited the practice as being invasive to people’s privacy and obsolete besides, given its behind-the-scene geotargeting and demo-targeting capabilities.

In an open letter to Facebook’s “350 million+ members,” Founder Mark Zuckerberg noted that it is time to move beyond the “network” model that assigns classifications to communities for schools, companies and regions. “This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students, since it made sense that a student might want to share content with their fellow students,” said Zuckerberg.

Given the company’s explosive growth, “this is no longer the best way for you to control your privacy,” he said. “Almost 50 percent of all Facebook users are members of regional networks, so this is an important issue for us. If we can build a better system, then more than 100 million people will have even more control of their information.”

Facebook Director of Monetization Tim Kendall is speaking on the “Local/Social” session on Day 1 of ILM:09.

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