Do social network users care about privacy?

by Tristan Henderson

This is an important question. Indeed it is one of the main questions that we are exploring in the PVNets project. Last week we heard a very interesting talk from Sören Preibusch presenting the business case for social network site (SNS) operators to care about privacy. In particular he showed some results that indicate that the more successful SNSes (in terms of subscribers) tend to have less visible privacy policies.

What then, to make of WeOurFamily, a new privacy-oriented SNS? Privacy is truly at the forefront here: the front page says “Designed to provide the control and privacy needed for real relationships.” Will users want to sign up for such a privacy-oriented SNS? And will they be willing to pay $21.99 a year for such privacy? I am very interested to see what will happen.

Have I signed up for WeOurFamily? That would be telling…

2 Responses to “Do social network users care about privacy?”

  1. Sam Brown Says:

    Has anyone tried this Weourfamily? Any feedback would be helpful before I splurge :)

  2. Wendy van der Klomp Says:

    I have been using WeOurFamily extensively since June and have greatly enjoyed the privacy and control I have with it. To be upfront, I am the wife of one of the creators so obviously I can not be completely unbiased. However, I can truthfully say I feel much safer about sharing my content here than on other networking sites. I actually backed down recently and opened a Facebook account to learn more about what that is like. Not only does WOF run faster on my computer than FB, but the confusing mass of information, features and advertising on FB nearly overwhelmed me! I also was truly amazed to see the amount of information everyone seems to freely share there; the lack of privacy they are all submitting to astounds me. Though WOF is still in its infancy (there are many more features to be added), the control and security I have on it makes all the difference to me. I readily share pictures and names of my children on it because I know it can not be seen by outside sources of any kind. I completely control who and for how long someone sees my content. I even sent our tax preparer our QuickBook files through WeOurFamily instead of having to send them in the mail! I also use it as a “draft’ area for much of my written work, because no one sees anything until I decide to share it with them. Again, I know I am biased toward WOF, but I hope you will give it a try (during Beta – you get even more time for the yearly subscription price!) and encourage your friends and family likewise. -Wendy van der Klomp

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