Facebook is changing the initial default privacy setting for users aged 13 through 17 to friends, from friends of friends, but those teen users will still have the option of changing their privacy settings to post publicly, should they wish to do so.
Until the social network’s announcement Wednesday, the default privacy setting for new members, regardless of age, was friends of friends, but this will now change for its youngest new members.
Should teens opt to change their privacy settings to public, they will see reminders that their posts can be seen by everyone, and they will be given the option to change the privacy settings for that post.
Facebook wrote in the Newsroom post announcing the change:
Going forward, when people aged 13 through 17 sign up for an account on Facebook, the initial audience of their first post will be set to a narrower audience of “friends.”
Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard. So, starting today, people aged 13 through 17 will also have the choice to post publicly on Facebook.
In addition, teens will be able to turn on follow so that their public posts can be seen in people’s News Feeds. As always, followers can only see posts they are in the audience for.
When teens choose “public” in the audience selector, they’ll see a reminder that the post can be seen by anyone, not just people they know, with an option to change the post’s privacy.
And if they choose to continue posting publicly, they will get an additional reminder.
Readers: Do you think this change will be helpful, or will teen Facebook users merely change their privacy settings?
Image of teens surrounding laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.