Facebook scatters privacy settings all over the place on mobile
Every other year, Facebook announces that it has changed the settings of its web version and/or applications. This month's change is rolling out to all users of Facebook's mobile application, and its main purpose is to streamline the layout, make things easier to find, but without removing any of the previous settings.
Facebook's privacy settings were changed in 2018 the last time. Back then, the company claimed that the new design would make "things easier to find", because settings were now found in a single place.
Today's update changes Facebook's setting page significantly. The company reduced the number off categories and decided to rename these to "more closely match people's mental models". Facebook notes its new system takes into account user expectations, so that specific settings are easier to find in the application.
The six categories that Facebook's settings page is divided into are Account, Preferences, Audience and Visibility, Permissions, Your Information, and Community Standards and Legal Policies.
And Privacy? The privacy settings have been moved to the relevant categories, to meet user expectation, according to Facebook.
Facebook's research suggest that "privacy settings can be easier to find when they're presented in short, well-organized menus, and that "grouping settings based on users' mental modes about which privacy topic(s) the settings address can be even more helpful".
Our research shows that using more specific and descriptive names makes settings easier to find. That’s why we’ve unbundled the Privacy Settings category and moved the settings previously contained within it into other categories. Finally, to more easily guide you through important privacy and security settings on Facebook, we’ve added another shortcut to Privacy Checkup, right at the top of the Settings landing page.
As a user of Facebook's mobile application, you will find location privacy settings under permission, post visibility settings under audience and visibility, and the activity log under your information.
Users may also use the search tool to find specific settings, and there is the privacy checkup tool to make some privacy-related changes using the tool.
Many existing users will have difficulties finding specific settings that they accessed in previous versions of Facebook's mobile apps. Critics might argue that the redesigned settings make it more difficult for users to find and change privacy settings; tighter privacy settings may provide Facebook and third-parties with less data, and that may affect the company's bottom line.
Ultimate, users need to go through all the settings one-by-one to make sure that they don't miss an important setting.
Now You: single privacy category or mental models-based approach, which do you prefer?Advertisement