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This article was published on October 16, 2013

Facebook narrows default privacy settings for new teens users from ‘friends of friends’ to just ‘friends’

Facebook narrows default privacy settings for new teens users from ‘friends of friends’ to just ‘friends’

Facebook is making a slight tweak to its settings when a new user signs in, specifically if you’re between the ages of 13 and 17. Rolling out today, all teenagers will have their sharing settings default to “friends” and be displayed a notification reminding them of the social network’s privacy options. The idea is to encourage teens to express themselves, but be vigilant in understanding who is seeing content that they post online.

Also starting today, teenagers have the option of posting their thoughts publicly and not be limited to just “friends of friends”.


How it works is pretty straight-forward: when a new teen signs up for a Facebook account and crafts their first post, they will see that the share settings is defaulted to friends. Previously, this was set to “Friends of Friends”, but now it’s more narrowly constrained.

The social networking company isn’t restricting teenagers to share with friends. Quite the contrary as it recognizes that teens are social media savvy and thus displays a pop-up notification to remind them of the change in privacy when they choose a different audience that they wish to share with.


Facebook says that these changes have been put in place to help improve the experience for teens on its site. Additional updates could be forthcoming as it also looks at the ways this group of users are sending messages and connecting with their friends.

It’s no surprise that privacy settings have been a topic of concern for Facebook. It has frequently been reminding users of privacy settings, especially for a variety of audiences, such as domestic violence victims.

Photo credit: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images

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