Facebook extends public posting and following options to teenage users

As popularity among younger users slides for the social network, Facebook has made some changes specifically for its 13 to 17-year-old users in an effort to be more enticing. Starting today, minors will now have the ability to set posts to public, making them visible to anyone who takes a gander at their profile, as well as enabling the ability to follow the users.

In addition, the default status privacy setting for teens has been switched from "Friends of friends," meaning more than just friends can see a status (but not the entire public Internet), to just "Friends," meaning only those specifically friended on the account can see any status update the teenager makes. If desired, the setting can then be changed manually.

As mentioned, teenagers are also now equipped with a "follow" options, something that is familiar to those who use Twitter or Instagram. With this feature, a minor's account can be followed by those the user doesn't want to explicitly friend, and instead of all statuses being visible to those users, only ones made public will show up on the wider scale.

The move loosens the grip on privacy concerns regarding young users, something that no doubt seeks to open up the social network's appeal among younger users. The privacy changes aren't happening blind, so to speak, however, with Facebook adding extra reminders about the potential pitfalls of making statuses public for those under the age of 18.

SOURCE: Facebook Newsroom