Facebook to let users pre-approve photo tags
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Drunken revelers rejoice: Facebook will now let you decide whether your friends can attach your name to a photo before it is circulated.
Currently, your friends can add your name to a photo on Facebook without your consent or knowledge. You can remove it later, but only after lots of others may have seen the embarrassing shots. Now, you can insist on pre-approval before the photo shows up on your profile.
This won't affect whether your friends can add a photo of you, only whether it shows up on your Facebook page. The photo with your name, known as a tag, will still show up on your friend's page. Still, not having the photo plastered on your profile without your consent can prevent potentially embarrassing moments.
Facebook said on Tuesday that the change is in response to user requests. Pre-approving photo tags has been the most requested change, said Kate O'Neill, product manager for Facebook. The pre-approval process will also apply to written posts that others tag you in. In addition, you have the option of pre-approving what others tag on your own photos and posts.
Facebook says the changes are meant to give users more control over their profiles. But the company is still not letting users pre-emptively remove their name from photos entirely — only after the photo is posted.
The company is making other changes to its privacy controls, too. These changes won't affect what information will be made public or private. Rather, they will affect how users can control what they are sharing in an effort to make the process simpler.
"We are making it easier for people to share what they want, every time (they) post," O'Neill said.
The changes will be rolled out starting Thursday.
Facebook has long been trying to simplify its privacy settings, which have many moving parts and have confused a lot of users. That confusion partly results from Facebook's efforts to let users apply different privacy settings to different parts of their profile on the site. But the company has also come under fire for pushing users toward disclosing more about their interests to the public.
Among the latest changes:
— Instead of going to a separate settings page, privacy controls will be on users' profile pages, next to the information they share, such as the music they like or the schools they went to. Previously, most these controls were located several clicks away on an "account settings" page.
— Instead of calling public posts visible to "everyone," Facebook will now simply call these "public."
— Facebook is also making a feature called "view profile as" more prominent. This lets you type in the name of another Facebook user and see how your profile looks to that person. For example, if you hide your photos and favorite music from some of your Facebook friends, this content won't show up if you view your profile as one of them.
— In a nod to Google Plus, the online search leader's fledgling social network, Facebook is making it easier to share posts with specific groups of people. A dropdown menu next to each post you make will let you select "public," ''friends" or a "custom" audience. Over time, Facebook said this menu will expand to include smaller groups of people.
— You will now be able to tag anyone on Facebook, even if you are not friends with them. They will have to approve your request to tag, though, before the photo or post shows up on their profile.