Breaking up no longer hard to do thanks to new Facebook tools

20 Nov 2015

Break-ups no longer complicated thanks to Facebook tools

Facebook is testing new tools it claims will improve the experience when relationships end and allow people to keep a distance from former flames.

Break-ups are never easy, even the good ones. And in this social media world making a clean break is hard to do when you may see status updates from your ex that stir old passions or outright jealousy, and vice versa.

But now Facebook, the world’s biggest social network with 1.5bn users, said it is trialling new tools to make break-ups less painful.

It’s no longer complicated

“Starting today, we are testing tools to help people manage how they interact with their former partners on Facebook after a relationship has ended,” explained Kelly Winters, product manager at Facebook.

“When people change their relationship status to indicate they are no longer in a relationship, they will be prompted to try these tools.”

The tools include the ability to see less of a partner’s name and profile picture around Facebook without having to unfriend or block them.

Their posts won’t show up in News Feed and their name won’t be suggested when people write a new message or tag friends in photos.

The end of the relationship

It works both ways. To limit the potential of hurting a jilted ex-lover’s feelings, users can also limit the photos, videos or status updates that a former partner will see.

Users can also edit who can see their past posts with a former partner and untag themselves from photos with that person.

Facebook has begun testing the new tools today in the US on mobiles and will roll them out further based on people’s feedback.

“This work is part of our ongoing effort to develop resources for people who may be going through difficult moments in their lives,” Winters said.

“We hope these tools will help people end relationships on Facebook with greater ease, comfort and sense of control.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years