Since creating SpaceHey, privacy has always been an important aspect for me. I'm always trying to make SpaceHey as privacy-friendly as possible, and today I want to take this a step further.
This is a feature at lot of you have been asking for: Private profiles!
Starting today, you can visit your Account Settings
and set your Profile to "Private". This will only allow your Friends (which you have to approve) to view your Profile page and view and write comments on your Profile. Everyone else won't be able to visit your Profile and will have to send you a Friend-Request first.
As many of you know, you can embed external images, css, fonts and more on your custom SpaceHey profiles and layouts. This is a big aspect of what makes custom SpaceHey profiles so unique and fun - however, this external content could potentially - depending on where the external content is coming from - track visitors, which isn't perfect for the privacy of the visitors. That's what I want to fix today: Starting today, visitors of custom SpaceHey profiles won't connect to any 3rd-party servers anymore - even when the profile loads external media. This works by routing all external media through SpaceHey servers. That way the 3rd-party media provider can technically only "see" a request from a generic SpaceHey server, not from individual visitors. And the best part: you probably don't need to change anything for this to work - it's all done behind the scenes automatically! (If there should however occur issues when loading certain external content, please let me know so I can fix it!)
Unfortunately, one thing this update affects, is embedded audio and video content with the HTML
Tags in your Layouts. Sorry about that :( Instead, please use YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Spotify, or one of the other supported Embed providers - there are a lot of great Blog Entries on how to do this on the SpaceHey Blog
As you may know, you can embed 3rd-party Embeds from a handful of popular sites (like YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, and more) on your profiles, blog entries and forum topics. However, this 3rd-party content is coming from, well, 3rd-parties, and they could track visitors when a page with an Embed is loaded. Starting today, you will be asked once if you want to load Embeds from a specific site before it loads. After that, your decision will be saved and content from that source will be loaded immediately in the future. While this extra-step may annoy some of us, it is necessary to ensure a privacy-friendly experience across SpaceHey - and again, you should only see it once if you agree.
I'm really excited about these changes which improve the privacy of everyone on SpaceHey. If you have any questions, suggestions, ideas or find a bug, please let me know in the comments or via email: email@example.com
Thank you so much for being on SpaceHey! :)
Update: As many of you have reported, this update broke autoplaying YouTube and Mixcloud embeds. This was not planned and it should be fixed now, sorry!! If you find any other bugs, please let me know!