On September 22nd Facebook introduced a new range of privacy settings aimed at “simplifying” the content users share, namely with respect to photos, personal information and various posts. Facebook says these changes are designed to make it explicitly clear to users who can see what is on their profiles at any given time. Now every time information is shared, the user is given the opportunity to quickly and easily adjust how visible it is to other users. These “inline controls” include where someone tags you in a photo or some other post, allowing you to tell who can see it by simply clicking on the icon in the top right corner. You can then very easily change your privacy settings relating to different types of posts accordingly. You also have the option of using a ”tag review” feature, which allows you to approve or deny posts to your profile before they becomes visible to others. This will likely be the most popular change, because it grants almost absolute control as to what is made visible on your page.
Some things you may not know… Under the default settings, when a person tags you in a status update this will appear on your profile. Therefore you may want to consider using the new tag/post review features in order to allow you to choose whether it makes it onto your wall or not. The default settings are set to “off”. When someone tags you in a post, it will be that person’s privacy settings that have final say over what is visible unless you specifically adjust the settings pertaining to posts you are tagged in. So make sure you personalize your privacy settings individually, because a “one size fits all” approach may not be in your best interests.
Do these changes require you to revisit your privacy settings? Your privacy settings should not have changed from what they were before, however some simplifications have been made. Therefore it is important that you check your settings to see what settings are now controlled “inline” (again, meaning adjustable for each separate post whether it be a picture, post or other information) and make sure that these inline controls are by default set to what you want.
What should you be doing moving forward? It is important to remember that Facebook is continually updating its layout, and this includes its privacy templates. While users should not fear that their settings will completely reset each time such changes occur, they should keep a close eye on new features that may (1) replace an existing feature; (2) remove an existing feature entirely; or (3) introduce something entirely different, which might require some tweaking from its default settings.