Facebook Sets Default Audience for New Users to “Friends”

facebook-privacy3A lot of trouble on Facebook could be avoided if users tightly controlled the audience that could see their content. But for a long time, the privacy settings for new Facebook users were automatically set to Public, which meant anyone and everyone could see their profiles. Users had to actively seek out their privacy settings and change them to protect themselves. Now, however, Facebook has announced that default settings for new users will be set to Friends.

When new users post for the first time, they will also receive a pop-up reminder asking them what audience they want to see their posts. If they don’t select anything, it will still default to Friends. However, it isn’t just new users that will be impacted by Facebook’s new privacy policy. The site will also begin rolling out an expanded privacy checkup tool that will help current users review what they’re posting.

“We want to do all we can to put power and control in people’s hands,” the site wrote in its announcement. “This new tool is designed to help people make sure they are sharing with just the audience they want. Everything about how privacy works on Facebook remains the same.” If you are new to Facebook or know someone who is, then be sure to check out detailed guide on all of the major account and security settings.

Other recent privacy-enhancing features from the site include a reminder when users post publicly, an anonymous log-in feature for apps and a simplified audience selector for iPhone users at the top of the screen.