Facebook lifts restriction on teen users sharing with public

Reuters

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc removed a restriction for users under 18 that previously limitedwho could see their online postings from photos to musings onthe world-wide social network.

The No.1 online social network said that teenagers would nowbe able to manually alter the setting and share information withthe public. Until now, a teenager's postings on Facebook wereonly viewable to their friends, and to the friends of theirfriends.

However, Facebook said on Wednesday the default setting whenteens do share information on the 1.15 billion user networkwould go out to a narrower group of people.

"Teens are among the savviest people using of social media,and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or theirthoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard," Facebook saidin an announcement of the changes.

"While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook mightchoose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choiceto share more broadly, just like on other social mediaservices," the company said.

The change comes as Facebook faces increasing competitionfrom a new crop of mobile and social services, such as SnapChatand WhatsApp, that have proven popular with younger users.

Facebook said it would show teenage users a special noticethe first couple of times they attempt to post information tothe public, reminding the user that the post can be seen byanyone.

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