Late last year the world’s largest social network announced that it would begin removing a popular privacy feature that let users regulate whether other users could search for and locate their profiles with the Facebook search function.
At the time of its initial announcement, the social networking giant removed the feature – called “Who can look up my Timeline by name?” – for everyone that wasn’t already using it. Yesterday, Facebook said they will begin removing it for all other users as well, completely eliminating the functionality within the next couple of weeks.
The feature lives on the Facebook privacy settings page, offering users three varying levels of privacy regarding the way that user-profiles are indexed by the site’s search engine. Users could choose who was allowed to search for their profiles by name: friends only, friends of friends, or everyone (the default option).
“Whether you’ve been using the setting or not, the best way to control what people can find about you on Facebook is to choose who can see the individual things you share,” wrote Michael Richter, Facebook chief privacy officer.
In other words, Facebook users can manipulate the visibility of each individual post they publish when they publish it, but they can not control whether their profile is indexed by Facebook’s search function,
“The setting also made Facebook’s search feature feel broken at times,” Richter said. “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.”