Today marked a huge day at Facebook as they have decided to open up their data stream via API to developers. Another major development and a step to an open standard for Lifestreaming was the simultaneous announcement that Facebook was supporting Activity Streams.
Of course they didn’t totally open things up and ReadWriteWeb provided details on the reality of what exactly will flow through the stream. Even the LA Times joined the throngs of those criticizing Facebook challenging that they aren’t as open as Twitter and stating that much of data will continue to be private and maintained by them.
Anyways, even if things haven’t totally opened up I think this is a step in the right direction and hopefully is just the start of continued plans to break down their walled garden. TechCrunch provided a nice live Qik stream of the technology demos. You can view the videos of the event here.
So I got to thinking a little about the announcement and began to wonder about how people will be able to share their data outside of Facebook now that they are allowed to. I immediately thought about how by default your profile and all aspects are set to private. So even with this announcement, I’m fairly sure that people will need to manually opt-in to begin sharing their stream outside of Facebook.
I figured that many people may not know where they need to do this and what options they have so I decided to record a screencast providing some basic details on where these settings are and how you can change them.
Note video best watched in HD mode on YouTube
Update: Alison Driscoll has posted a many more details regarding the privacy settings including how to utilize lists to better control what you share. You can view the post here.