October 17, 2013
Facebook Adds Option To Let Teens Post Publicly
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Facebook has removed a restriction for teenage users that previously limited who could view their online postings.
The change, which took effect on Wednesday, allows users between the ages of 13 and 17 to manually change their settings to publicly share posts and obtain followers.
Until now, Facebook postings made by teenagers were only viewable by their “friends,” “friends of friends,” and customized groups, with no option to change these settings.
"Teens are among the savviest people using of social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard," Facebook wrote in a blog post announcing the new policy.
The default setting for new users will allow posts to be seen only by “friends,” and must manually change their audience setting to "public" in order to share with everyone, Facebook said.
Once a user changes their settings to allow public posts, a pop-up appears informing them that their post will be visible to everyone, which the user must acknowledge by clicking “OK” before the post is sent out.
"While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services,” Facebook said.
The social network said its audience settings would remain unchanged from post to post for all users, including teens, although teens will see a reminder message when they choose to post publicly.
Teen Facebook users will also be able to change settings to allow non-friends to follow public posts, meaning users who choose to follow a teenager can view the teens’ public posts, with the exception of those posts that have not been shared.
Facebook said Wednesday's update will be slowly rolled out to all users, and will not impact existing Facebook posts from teens or automatically change the audience for future posts.