On Tuesday, Facebook received approval for a patent they have been trying to secure since 2012! Usually this would be marked as a joyous occasion, but since the news leaked out about the contents of this patent…there has been a bit of an uproar.

But before you form your own opinion or start defriending everyone, know these four things about Facebook’s new patent:

1. The patent will help filter inappropriate or spam emails and any disrespectful content from being approved to your timeline. In the digital age where everything becomes a meme, and Internet trolls roam the net, this is a welcomed improvement to Facebook. I would be curious if the filtering would also apply to Facebook Business Pages to help marketers and customer support staffs weed out spam posts and be able to focus their attention on concerned customers.

2. The patent will improve search so that you will be able to find people and/or topics you’re interested in quicker and more easily. This is another win for small business. Facebook just updated the News Feed to give users a chance to discover new Pages on mobile, but with a more powerful search, users can more frequently discover new businesses organically across mobile and the desktop.

3. The patent will give lenders the ability to search a borrower’s Facebook friends list to determine their credit approval. Wait. What?

In other words, if you apply for a loan this patent gives lenders the ability to examine the credit ratings of not only you, but of all of your Facebook friends. According to the patent language, “If the average credit rating of these members is at least a minimum credit score, the lender continues to process the loan application. Otherwise the loan application is rejected.”

I’m sure as a small business owner or entrepreneur this news is not good news, because not only are you probably unaware of the status of many of your friends’ credit, you don’t want to defriend someone just because they have some debt!

But, before you go into panic mode, it is important to know…

4. It is unclear at this time how Facebook will use the contents of this patent.
Facebook has declined to comment when asked about their intentions to a variety of media sources, but remember that lenders have their own laws to follow when it comes to determining your fate in obtaining a loan. So there may be enough rules already in place to hinder this patent from being applied in full effect.

For now, rest assured that as soon as more details about this patent arise, we will bring you an update!

A flowchart of the patent’s lending process can be viewed below, and the full patent can be viewed here.

Facebook Patent Flowchart

About the Author: Deanna Zaucha is the Senior Specialist of Content Marketing for Webs and Pagemodo, and also manages our social media presence. She can be found on a dance floor, or on her iPhone keeping up with trends in marketing and tech. Get more from Deanna on Pagemodo’s Blog and Twitter.

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