Facebook to make privacy settings more visible to users

9 Apr 2014

Facebook is to introduce three new privacy changes in a bid to give users a clearer indication of what they select their privacy settings to be.

Having been criticised for its lack of awareness of privacy in previous years, Facebook is now undertaking the task of making its 1bn-plus users more aware of who exactly can see their Facebook page and the posts they make.

According to CNET, Raylene Yung and Michael Nowak, the social network’s privacy engineering manager and privacy product manager, have conducted 4,000 extensive surveys across 27 languages to find the ideal privacy settings.

The first expected change is to the ‘audience selector’, which lets users choose who they wish to see their posts. The selector will be streamlined to just two visible options, ‘public’ and ‘friends’, on desktop and mobile, with other options hidden behind a sub-menu.

Perhaps the biggest change is a privacy pop-up known as ‘privacy check-up’, that will alert users to their current privacy settings when they have left it in public for a prolonged period of time, to make sure they’re happy with what is visible on their profile.

Given the nature of how people generally react to pop-ups in any capacity, regardless of whether privacy is of concern or not, begs the question as to how popular the pop-ups will be with regular Facebook users. Facebook is attempting to address this by including a dinosaur character with the pop-up, as the company supposedly found it more appealing to tested users.

Facebook privacy dinosaur

Meet the new face of Facebook’s privacy pop-ups, the un-named dinosaur

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic