Facebook Privacy Settings now distributed in multiple sections: Is finetuning personal security on social media getting easier or difficult?

Facebook Privacy Settings
Facebook changed the location of settings for ease of access? Pic credit: Stock Catalog/Flickr

Facebook has significantly changed the layout and location of settings in the mobile application. The latest update for the Facebook app, concerning particularly Privacy Settings, should roll out gradually to users across the world.

Several settings, particularly those concerning privacy, permissions to grant access to personal data, and overall exposure on Facebook, are now scattered across six categories.

Facebook keeps changing the Settings page to improve or simplify access?

Facebook routinely makes significant changes to the Settings page. Be it Android, iOS, or web version, the settings have never remained consistent for long periods of time.

The last major change to the Settings page occurred back in 2018, but minor changes appear to be a routine occurrence. This month, Facebook has once again fundamentally altered the Settings page, and the most obvious aspect is Privacy Settings.

Facebook reportedly claims it wants to streamline the layout, make things easier to find, but without removing any of the previous settings.

Back in 2018, when the social media giant altered the settings layout, it claimed the new design would make “things easier to find”. The company claimed the redesign would ensure Settings were easily accessible in a single place.

However, the exact opposite has happened with the latest redesign of the Settings page. Facebook may have reduced the number of categories, but for each category, there is a separate Settings page.

Where is the new Privacy Settings page in the Facebook mobile app for iOS and Android?

Facebook has introduced six categories for the new Settings layout. These include Account, Preferences, Audience and Visibility, Permissions, Your Information, and Community Standards and Legal Policies.

The changes will be visible gradually across iOS and Android apps of Facebook. The web version still has the extensive Settings page, for now.

Facebook claims it decided to rename these to “more closely match people’s mental models”. The company claims its new system takes into account user expectations, so that specific settings are easier to find in the application.

It is important to note that there’s no singular Settings page for “Privacy”. Facebook has moved the Privacy Settings to each of the relevant categories.

The social media platform reportedly claims it conducted research which suggested that “privacy settings can be easier to find when they’re presented in short, well-organized menus, and that “grouping settings based on users’ mental modes about which privacy topic(s) the settings address can be even more helpful”.

“Our research shows that using more specific and descriptive names makes settings easier to find. That’s why we’ve unbundled the Privacy Settings category and moved the settings previously contained within it into other categories. Finally, to more easily guide you through important privacy and security settings on Facebook, we’ve added another shortcut to Privacy Checkup, right at the top of the Settings landing page.”

Facebook mobile application users will find ‘Location Privacy’ settings under the Permission category, ‘Post Visibility’ settings under the Audience as well as the Visibility category, and the ‘Activity Log’ under the Information category.

Incidentally, the Search function could be the most useful to find a particular setting. Additionally, there’s the Privacy Checkup Tool that Facebook users must use to make some much-needed privacy-related changes.

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