Moms Push for Greater Privacy Control on Facebook

With 1.3 billion monthly active Facebook users, you wouldn’t think that a few privacy-conscious moms would have any impact on the social media giant.

But with one in three bloggers being a mom, according to Neilson, and the uproar over the latest Facebook Messenger app emerging from some of those very blogs, Facebook is feeling the push for greater privacy control from a key demographic.

“I’m not posting pictures of my kids on Facebook anymore,” proclaimed one mom in a Toronto playground, discussing her growing concern over social media privacy. Her words echo the sentiments of other moms whose protective mindset is driving the debate for greater privacy control on Facebook.

When we asked SavvyMom.ca – Canada’s largest online resource for moms – to ask 100 Canadian mom bloggers about their privacy concerns on social media, the responses were overwhelmingly weary of posting about their kids on Facebook, not wanting to create a directory of images before their kids even get on social media.

“I don’t share my daughters’ names or pictures of their faces,” wrote one mom blogger, who responded to SavvyMom’s social media privacy discussion. “I wouldn’t want to share an image they might not want me to when they get older. It can be hard … to balance privacy and connecting.”

How essential are moms like these to Facebook? According to BabyCenter’s Canada Social Mom Report, which surveyed 1,200 respondents across Canada, women aged 18-34 with kids spend 55% more monthly hours on Facebook than other users, and the more active they are in social media, the more likely they are to purchase products online (139 transactions for socially active moms versus 100 for the general population) making them one of the most sought after advertising demographics.

The same report shows that these moms are 18% more likely than the general population to visit Facebook on their smartphones – a fact that makes the latest privacy concerns about the Facebook Messenger app all the more troublesome to this demographic.

“I understand that this app now tracks what you say in personal chats and that it can access your personal camera. I am very upset,” writes reviewer Nancy Cormack, giving the new app the minimum one out of five stars. Her negative review is one of over a thousand such reviews on the Apple iTunes App Store, with the overall rating at one and a half stars out of five.

This demand for greater privacy control isn’t lost on Facebook. The company just announced the launch of a Privacy Checkup tool, allowing users to quickly check and personalize their privacy settings. Although it doesn’t boast any new privacy settings, it brings all the settings together in one place, always accessible at the top right corner of each page.  The first step in running this new Privacy Checkup tool is deciding who can view your posts – a potentially essential feature for privacy conscious moms.

Facebook is a part of everyday life and for moms who want to update family and friends about their children’s progress and milestones, it’s an integral part. But the active social media mom is also highly concerned with protecting her child’s privacy. The best way for Facebook to keep her posting is to increase privacy control and the new Privacy Checkup tool is hoping to do just that.