Facebook has bowed to public pressure and announced that it will take a new approach to how it decides its future.

In what seems to be a complete handover of power to its users, the company, clearly afraid of a backlash similar to that received over recent gaffs and failures, said that it will give power over how it is run to its audience.

From today, Facebook says it is committed to holding virtual town halls where "users have an opportunity to comment on the proposed policy".

Called "The Facebook Principles", the company says the new approach will be based on a "set of values that will guide the development of the service".

"As people share more information on services like Facebook, a new relationship is created between internet companies and the people they serve", said founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg in a statement put out by the company, before admitting that “users feel a real sense of ownership over Facebook itself, not just the information they share".

The results of the vote are to be made public and will be binding if more than 30% of all active registered users vote.

Facebook tried to prove that they were making the right decision by wheeling in Simon Davies a director at Privacy International:

"No other company has made such a bold move towards transparency and democratization”, he said, before going on to applaud the move.

According to the company, Facebook will continue to make "independent" decisions about the timing and rollout of products although those roll outs will be "consistent with the Principles and in compliance with the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities".