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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 26 July, 2014

Facebook announces more changes to privacy settings

Facebook aligns itself to rival website Google+ by making certain changes to its privacy settings.

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

FACEBOOK HAS ANNOUNCED a “bunch of improvements” to its website so users can share content with some – but not all – of their ‘friends’.

Many of the changes seem match Google+ features that have received praise from users.

Facebook users have been calling for a way to ‘show’ certain ‘friends’ posts while blocking them from others – something that Google’s social media site can do through its Circles feature.

“You have told us that ‘who can see this?’ could be clearer across Facebook, so we have made changes to make this more visual and straightforward,” a company spokesman said in a blog post.

Vice President of Products, Chris Cox said, “Taken together, we hope these new tools make it easier to share with exactly who you want, and that the resulting experience is a lot clearer and a lot more fun.”

The main change is that Facebook has moved privacy controls from the  settings page to appear beside individual posts, photos and tags. The lock button will also be more prominent on each new post.

Zuckerberg et al. have also changed some ‘Facebook language’. What was once called “Everyone” will now be denoted as “Public”.

Tagging

Before these changes, Facebook ‘friends’ could tag each other in photos and they showed up on the users’ profiles immediately. The website has now introduced an approval function so only photos people want to share appear on their page.

Therefore, photos, posts and anything else a user is tagged in can be rejected.

Facebook will now also allow users to tag people even if they are not friends.

“Before, you could only tag someone if you were friends with them…This felt broken or awkward if you had a photo album of co-workers and had to become Facebook friends to tag them in the photos. Going forward, you can add tags of your friends or anyone else on Facebook. If you are ever tagged by a non-friend, it won’t appear on your profile unless you review and approve the post,” explained the company.

Handy tool

Facebook said that people often wondered what their profile looked like to others. This handy tool is now easier to access and is no longer “behind the scenes”.

Replies to the post on Facebook’s blog show that users still want the introduction of a “Dislike” button. Facebook has reportedly rejected the idea as it could lead to a negative user experience.

Read more on the Facebook blog >

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