Facebook has updated the way users manage content on the social networking site with better controls.
“We believe that the better you understand who can see the things you share, the better your experience on Facebook can be,” said Samuel Lessin, Product Manager at Facebook, in a post on the company’s official blog site last week.
Facebook, the world’s largest social network, implemented three updates: Privacy Shortcuts, a user-friendly Activity Log, and a new Request and Removal tool for multiple photo tags.
The company said it will add a new in-product education for important concepts on clearer sharing controls such as in-context reminders about how to hide things from timeline can still come out in news feed, search and other locations.
Facebook revealed its three main goals for the updates: show controls in context where users share stuff, help users understand what show up in Facebook, and provide tools to handle unlikable content.
More controls when needed
The previous implementation of Facebook needed users to stop their activities and navigate through a different set of pages if they wanted to change privacy and timeline controls.
The new shortcuts provide a quick and easy access to key settings, which are available through the toolbar and manages “Who can see my stuff,” “Who can contact me,” and “How do I stop someone from bothering me.” These shortcuts also offer access to Help Center content.
While some apps may ask to post to Facebook, users who log into all new apps for the first time will receive a notification for permission to use personal information to customize the user’s experience.
Up until now, the two requests were simultaneously part of one screen, but soon users will see these requests occur individually for more control over shared items. A person can now allow a music app to read his/her public profile and friends list for a customized experience within the app, but deny it from posting what they are listening to on Facebook.
Lessin said, “Many of the apps you use will move to this new model, but some will not – for example, games apps on Facebook.com will not change.”
For more information on how these new permissions will work, see our developer blog.
Retiring the old “Who can look up my timeline by name?” setting
The social network, which began as a directory service for Harvard University students, now provides a new string of services, including news feed, photo uploads and mobile messaging, and settings.
Previously, Facebook users used a “Who can look up my timeline by name” setting, which managed if someone is searchable when other people typed their name into the search bar. It had a very limited range and could not stop people from searching for others in other available within the social network.
The limitation forced Facebook to remove the setting for people who had no use for it and built new contextual tools, along with procedures on how to use it.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll be retiring this setting for the small percentage of people who still have it,” said Lessin.
Facebook also added in-context notices across the website. For example, it made a series of messages to help users understand in context that content hidden from the timeline may still appear in news feed, search and other places.
Updated Activity Log
Last year, Facebook launched Activity Log. It offered an easier way to view all the stuff users have posted on the website, modify the audience of past photos and other posts, and pick what things will show up on the timeline.
With a new navigation panel, the new Activity Log now offers an easier way to view Facebook activities, including likes, comments, photos, and posts where users have been tagged in.
The update also includes several ways to sort information: quickly see public photos users are tagged in and have hidden from their timeline but still appear in other places on Facebook.
Request and Removal tool
Inside the new Activity Log, Facebook added a new Request and Removal tool for handling multiple photos a user is tagged in.
“If you spot things you don’t want on Facebook, now it’s even easier to ask the people who posted them to remove them,” said Lessin.
“Go to the “Photos of You” tab, select multiple photos, and ask friends to take down the shots you don’t like – you can even include a message about why this is important to you. The tool also lets you untag multiple photos at once, keeping in mind that while untagged photos don’t appear on your timeline, they can still appear in other places on Facebook, such as search, news feed, or your friends’ timelines.”
Facebook said the updates and new tools will roll out before the year-end.