Teenagers can now post public Facebook updates

BeWebSafe.net highlights changes to how teenagers post on Facebook

Another change is on it’s way for Facebook teenagers. Previously, kids (aged 13 – 17) who used Facebook had a default (audience) setting of ‘friends of friends’ but now they have the (welcomed) default setting ‘friends’ with the option of setting the audience to ‘public’.

Facebook defaulting audience to 'friend'

When this option is selected Facebook will double check that this is actually want they want to do by saying “Did you know that public posts can be seen by anyone, not just people you know?”


Reminder from Facebook when teen chooses audience setting of 'public'


When they choose the ‘public’ audience setting, their posts will be visible in the newsfeeds of the people who have chosen to ‘Follow’ them as opposed to ‘friend’ them.

Facebook have officially said:

“While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services. In addition, teens will be able to turn on Follow so that their public posts can be seen in people’s News Feeds. As always, followers can only see posts they are in the audience for.”

The company said that these changes “are designed to improve the experience for teens on Facebook”. It is also looking at ways to improve the way teens use messages and connect with people they may know.

Facebook also recently announced that it was removing it’s ‘invisibility cloak’ in others words, removing the ability for users to hide from others users. This should make it alot easier to find people of Facebook .

I would recommend chatting to your teen about this change, making sure that they understand the implications of sharing posts with an audience of ‘public’.

Debbie Woodward

Debbie is a FETAC qualified trainer and delivers Social Media training for the Sligo County Enterprise Board in Ireland. Debbie also delivers talks on Internet Safety to parents and students in schools and also teachers in education centres. You can find Debbie on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

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