Facebook recently launched some new features involving content sharing, location, & photo tagging.
One of those changes is the additional specification options built into your newsfeed, which are meant to help users better control who can see what information in each status post.
Being able to control who sees content that you post on your newsfeed is not a new capability. It’s been there all along, buried in your Facebook privacy preferences.
The change that Facebook made was to their UI design; building sharing privacy options right into the newsfeed post box uses an existing function to offer a new user experience, potentially a better one. Check out the new icons below the text window, in line with the post button.
What was their motivation?
I think everyone knows at least one person who has committed the thoughtless mistake of posting something they shouldn’t have publicly to their Facebook newsfeed; this tends to result in devastating consequences. For example, I have friend who posted something nasty about her boss & disliking her job, which she thought she was sharing only with her “friends” (not co workers,) but accidentally posted it publicly; long story short, it got her fired.
Over-sharing because of thoughtlessness or mis-use of Facebook privacy features is all too common. By adding embedded privacy options right onto the newsfeed box, Facebook offers users a better way to reduce these sharing blunders. By making privacy settings easier for users to implement, they’re improving the function of the application in general; they’re also providing a simple solution to a larger common problem that their users often mistakenly commit & later lament.
This little update is a perfect example of how a small change to an application’s user interface design can address & help resolve a major usability issue that isn’t necessarily just technical in nature. Facebook is taking usability & user experience into account with these new changes– a testament to the kind of intricate & thoughtful work our designers do at FTS everyday.