Many Facebook users have found fault with the social network’s default audience setting for posts. The visibility of photos and status updates is set to “Public” by default which increases the risk of oversharing. Today Facebook announced that for all new users the default audience setting will be “Friends.” The company says that it recognizes it is much worse for someone to accidentally share with everyone what is only meant for their friends, hence the change.
All new Facebook users will also see a reminder when they’re about to publish their first post to choose an audience. If they don’t make a choice at that moment it will be set to Friends automatically. Facebook already allows users to change privacy settings of any particular post prior so they can pick and choose for future posts. Privacy of past posts can also be changed.
What about the billion-plus people who’re already signed up on Facebook? For them the social network is going to roll out a new and expanded privacy checkup tool over the next few weeks. It will take them through a few steps to review what audience they’re posting to, which apps they use as well as “privacy of key pieces of information on their profile.”
Nothing else is being changed on Facebook with regards to privacy, all of the settings that users have grown accustomed to will be left as they are. This change will certainly mitigate the risk for new users as they learn the social network’s ropes. Better late than never.