The default sharing option for new Facebook users is set to public, meaning that anyone can see posts, even if they don’t have Facebook accounts. There are a few simple ways that Facebook users can change that, to make sure that only their friends (or a select group of their friends) can see posts. Additionally, users can select friends to not see posts.
When you share a status update, photo, or link, it’s easy to choose the privacy settings for each post.
In the bottom-right corner of the status update box atop News Feed, there’s a menu that allows users to control who will see this post. If your default setting is public, it will say public with a little globe. If it is friends, it will say friends.
(Note: these screenshots are from the redesigned News Feed, but they still apply to the old look.)
When you click on this menu, you have several posting options. Public makes it so that the post will be seen by anyone. Friends limits the post so only people who are on your friends list can view it. Only Me will make the post completely private to everyone else but you. Custom allows users to pick and choose who sees the post.
Additionally, users can click a list to share the post with members of that list, whether it’s something they’ve curated or an automatically generated list such as your college network or people in your current city.
Clicking custom gives users the fullest control over who sees their next post. The settings also carry over into future posts on desktop and mobile, until a user changes these settings.
With the custom privacy option, users can share a post with friends, with friends (and friends of friends), only themselves, or with specific lists. Users can also type in names of friends who will not see the post.
Post privacy settings can also be more permanently changed in the settings menu. To access this in the redesigned News Feed, either click the lock at the top-left corner, next to your profile icon in the chat menu, or click the triangle next to “Home,” in the top-right corner. After you click settings, click privacy in the left-hand menu.
Through the settings menu, users can also switch their past public posts to friends only or control who can search for their profile. This is useful for users who do not want to be found through the search bar by people who are not their friends.
Readers: Has this helped you figure out how to control who sees your Facebook posts?