Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has today announced a revolution in social networking with the release of Facebook Realtime. The new system will update profiles automatically by taking thoughts from the brains of users and presenting them as text. The updates will be posted in real time and will form a comprehensive history of every user’s thoughts, which can be searched by anyone on the network, depending on privacy settings.
During the press conference, Zuckerberg commented, “We are taking social networking to a whole new level of ease and honesty. With Facebook Realtime, our users don’t have to go near a laptop, PC or mobile phone to post status updates. Using a clever set of algorithms and some other proprietary technology we have developed, their thoughts will appear as if by magic. Not only this, but any people you think about positively who are not already friends will be sent a friend request automatically. Facebook will literally be inside all our heads, which is very exciting.”
Early trials of the new version were beset by problems, leading to calls for development to be stopped altogether. During the first phase of testing, thousands of friend requests were sent out to government figures, leading to those users believing they were popular. “This was until we worked out how to send out friend requests only when people were thinking pleasant thoughts about the individuals,” said Zuckerberg.
Campaigners were also upset that posts would not be censored in any way. “This sort of thing could lead to real problems,” claimed Bob Tullow, of pressure group the Privacy Online Forum, “our thoughts are private and should stay that way.” Mr Tullow’s Facebook account was later seen to have sent out friend requests to all the female journalists present at the press conference.
Zuckerberg explained that people can opt out of the new technology easily, “as we have seen with other innovations on Facebook, users can easily turn the new options off. When they next log on, they will have a 30 second window to tick some boxes, un-tick others and answer a short questionnaire. They will then be presented with some further options, one of which will lead them to a page of tick boxes where the Realtime option can be disabled. It's really very simple.”