Facebook starts making profiles visible in search, removes option to opt-out

Facebook has announced through its blog that users will no longer be able to opt out of the site's global search listing and profiles will be publicly visible to everyone.

In a lengthy post, Facebook has outlined that many of its users faced issues while finding people whom they knew personally but had disabled search listing which led to a broken search experience. Users are advised to control what they post and set up post visibility in order to maintain privacy once these changes are completely rolled out globally. The "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" feature will be removed as a result of which any user can be searched for using Facebook's search bar. The post also mentions that the advanced Graph Search, which was rolled out for everyone in July gives detailed results to users making post visibility settings more important to users rather than search visibility.

Facebook has stated that a small percentage of users actually used the "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" feature. These users will see the following notification on top of their News Feed when Facebook removes the setting from their profile.

Facebook is known to make changes to the UX every now and then and such a move does not come as a surprise from the company which relies on revenues from advertisements. 

Source: Facebook | Image via Facebook

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Hello,

Im very surprised at this; One of the first options I went thru is to make sure all my privacy settings were correct and secure. Now I can search for whoever I want and they can search for me?

I dont like it at all.

That's why I don't use that virus ridden place to begin with. Its just going to lead to a mass exodus once the problems start getting big with face book stalking.

You make no sense. People with hidden profiles are more of a stalker than those who aren't. Additionally a mass exodus isn't going to happen, the post clearly states that a low percentage of people actually use the feature. "Virus ridden" is so off basis its absurd.

Vannos said,
People with hidden profiles are more of a stalker than those who aren't....

There are people out there that are on Facebook enjoying the obscurity by keeping themselves off the public search that took advantage of this function as a means to stay in touch with their loved ones, close friends etc, while keeping their information away from their crazy ex lovers, enemies or whatnot bent on hurting them physically. Yes - there is a very small percentage of users in the single digit, but what isn't realized is that with what...1+ billion users a single percentage is quite a large number of users.

I am almost certain that Facebook is accounting for the "mass exodus" if any, and will consider it an 'acceptable loss'. In the corporate world such as theirs, these things are calculated at the beginning of the process to approve a change. If the loss is acceptable, then proceed. If not, then don't execute your plan. PLUS - with all the people leaving, there will be at least an equal return of people joining for the first time, so it washes out a bit.

I think what some of the concern to is that while this is a change in privacy which can be considered minor (Given their percentages), what is to say that 6 months, a year, or anytime down the road that they don't decide to make Facebook 100% freely searchable and public online by anyone? For example, what you post is public and what you say is searchable. Much like a public forum, but instead of handles, real names are used.


Spicoli said,
I suppose you could say that about any service. What if dropbox made all your files publically available?

It's on the internet - they already do. Hence, I don't use it.

Spicoli said,
I suppose you could say that about any service. What if dropbox made all your files publically available?
That is so far from being anywhere near related. Facebook isn't making all your posts and info public... the only public info is your name, profile photo, and cover photo. You could even delete your cover photo and profile photo, then only the people you add will actually know who you are.

All your personal information is still just as hidden, especially if someone doesn't know your name to begin with.

Typical of greedy, customer screwing companies. First win everyone's trust by luring them with choice and control, and then start eliminating choice and control.

UXGaurav said,
Typical of greedy, customer screwing companies. First win everyone's trust by luring them with choice and control, and then start eliminating choice and control.

I'm pretty sure Facebook's customers (ad companies) don't mind.

Oh FFS it's just your name that can't be hidden anymore. Anything you post is still controlled by your normal privacy settings and can be hidden from anyone but you if you want, still.

The stupidity of joining FB and using a pseudonym or having your name not searchable though...

(...)the advanced Graph Search, which was rolled out for everyone in July...

for everyone...that uses American English!

Mulsivaas said,
He must be joking. You apparently missed the /s

No, I was fully aware of his /s. Or lack thereof.

Better do it now. There's rumor that you won't be able to cancel your account in the near future. It's a bit scary as it correlates with the Obamacare website, where if people register, they're stuck forever (no cancelation options).