Facebook Wants to Know More About Your “Private Content”

facebook-privacy3Facebook released its first quarter earnings report last week, revealing that the company has made $2.5 billion in revenues so far in 2014. However, the site also announced some startlingly large statistics about how users are sharing content.

On the call with reporters, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook Messenger has 200 million monthly users, and that WhatsApp, the messenger app Facebook recently acquired, has over 500 million monthly users. With increasingly large numbers of users choosing to share content privately, Facebook naturally wants a piece of what they’re calling “private content.”

“People want to share all kinds of different content with all kinds of different audiences,” Zuckerberg said. “At the intersection of each type of content and each audience, we think there’s a really compelling experience to be built… Facebook historically has focused on friends and public content. Now with Messenger and WhatsApp, we’re taking a couple of different approaches to more private content as well.”

While it makes sense from a business perspective for Facebook to explore every kind of content platform they can, they may run into issues with users who don’t like their private conversations being considered “content” by the site. When Facebook users open a Messenger conversation or chat with their friends on their mobile devices, they likely don’t think about those dashed-off conversations being analyzed by Facebook.