Ever considerate of its users, Facebook has determined that its privacy settings needed a bit of a shuffle to keep things clear and easy to find. To that end they’ve taken the “privacy settings” settings and scattered them mischievously among the other categories.
“We’ve redesigned our entire settings menu on mobile devices from top to bottom to make things easier to find. Instead of having settings spread across nearly 20 different screens, they’re now accessible from a single place,” writes Facebook in a blog post announcing the changes.
Oh, sorry — that’s from 2018, when they centralized privacy settings to make them easier to find. This is the one from today about decentralizing them into a bunch of different places.
“Settings are now grouped into six broad categories, each containing several related settings: Account, Preferences, Audience and Visibility, Permissions, Your Information, and Community Standards and Legal Policies … We’ve unbundled the Privacy Settings category and moved the settings previously contained within it into other categories.”
Under which of those categories do you think privacy settings belong? Facebook “renamed them to more closely match people’s mental models,” so it should be obvious. Just use your mental model.
If your answer is “all of them, conceivably,” congratulations, you got it! Now if you want to update your privacy settings, all you need to do is visit all of these new categories and subcategories individually. Any one of them might have a crucial toggle inside — it’s like a treasure hunt!
We joke, but Facebook did also make the “Privacy Checkup” item much more prominent in this update. This “guided review” may give the company opportunities to employ dark patterns that lure users away from less desirable (for the company) privacy choices, but does certainly go through many of the more important settings and let people change them.
“We’re confident this new settings page will make it easier for people to visit their settings, find what they came for, and make the changes they want,” Facebook writes. We’ll all find out one way or another later today when the redesign rolls out for iOS, Android, mobile web and FB Lite.