We saw a preview earlier this month, but now Facebook’s simplified, slimmed-down privacy tools should be applied to your account at any moment now. Take control and untag those gross pictures you didn’t even know existed.
There are two big changes you should care about right now: shortcuts and a beefed-up activity feed that will let you scrub your online past free of embarrassment.
The shortcuts look like this, conveniently popped at the top right of the site.
Do this. Right now. Even if you think you know how you have your privacy toggles toggled, you should give it another look.
Go through the first two and make sure you have your settings the way you want them — it’s possible you’re sharing photos or status updates with the whole entire internet and have no idea. You can also nick messages from strangers (unless maybe they’ve got a buck to burn) if that’s been a problem for you. Now that these tools are right in your face at all times, you’ve got no excuse for mix-ups — click up there periodically to make sure you have things adjusted the way you want them.
Now it’s time to do some scrubbing.
One potentially puzzling part of timeline is the discrepancy between hiding a photo and untagging it — just because you make it disappear from your view, doesn’t mean the rest of your Facebook bubble can’t see it. If you head to the revamped activity feed, you can set a new filter to show only invisible photos — images you’re tagged in that you can’t see on your own timeline but are still out there, potentially making an arse of you. If you don’t like what you see, you can now untag in batches, making it easy to mass-untag compromising photos, invisible or otherwise.
New job? You can purge your entire university experience. Breakup? Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind the ex — it’s like all those dates never happened.
And if you’re planning on blacking out of New Years Eve — there’s no shame! — you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a speedy untag trigger finger. Nothing you don’t want your mum or boyfriend to see.
Timeline already gave you a profound, almost overwhelming way to navigate your personal past — and now you’ve got a pretty powerful way to control (or censor) it as you see fit. If you want, leave only the flattering pictures, the fun holidays and the good hair days. Or just take comfort in knowing exactly what’s out there with your name on it. It’s your profile — there’s no reason it can’t be your ego’s playground too.
The update should be spreading across the US starting right now — the rest of the world will have to wait and suffer mortifying photos for a bit longer. Let us know in the comments if you can see the changes already. [Facebook]