Facebook to sunset ‘Who can look up your timeline by name?’ feature

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Last year, Facebook started removing the privacy-checking feature called “Who can look up your timeline by name?” The company announced Thursday that it is officially ending this feature, prompting users to take better control of their individual privacy settings.

Facebook explained the reasoning for this decision:

Everyone used to have a setting called “Who can look up your Timeline by name?,” which controlled whether you could be found when people typed your name into the Facebook search bar.

The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited. For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline. Today, people can also search Facebook using Graph Search (for example, “People who live in Seattle,”) making it even more important to control the privacy of the things you share rather than how people get to your Timeline.

The setting also made Facebook’s search feature feel broken at times. For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn’t find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn’t find each other through search.

Users who still have this feature will soon see a prompt informing them of the change.

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 12.12.06 PMIn lieu of checking privacy settings through the “Who can look up your timeline by name” feature, Facebook recommends that users take a deeper look into their settings to discover how they can be searched through Graph Search. Users can also set individual posts so only a certain subset of users or friends can see them.

Facebook notes that people who have their default sharing status as public (meaning all of Facebook can see their posts) will see a notice informing them that what they post can be seen by all users.

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For a detailed look at how to control what other people see on Facebook, consult this how-to guide on AllFacebook.

Readers: How often did you use the “Who can look up your timeline by name” feature?

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