Facebook have introduced a new feature which allows users to ‘take a break’ from their ex partners when they break up, in a move which the tech giant hopes will make it easier for users to be able to avoid seeing their ex plastered all over their feed whenever they log on.
Now, when you change your relationship status from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘single’ (or similar), Facebook will give you the option to ‘take a break’ from your partner, essentially hiding them from your feed, while also stopping them from seeing anything you upload.
Here’s how Facebook describe the feature: “You can take a break from someone on Facebook when you change your relationship status to single, divorced or leave it blank. You can also take a break from anyone you want to see less.
“When you take a break from someone you’ll be able to:
- See less of someone: Limit where you see someone on Facebook. If you choose to see them less, their posts and posts they’re tagged in won’t appear in your News Feed and you won’t be prompted to message them or tag them in photos. To see their posts again, you can follow them.
- Limit someone’s ability to see your posts and posts you’re tagged in: Hide your posts from the person you want to take a break from. They’ll be added to your Restricted List and will only see posts you tag them in or share publicly.
- Edit who can see past posts: Limit who can see posts (example: photos, status updates, videos, etc.) you’re tagged in, or that you’ve tagged a person in by changing your privacy settings. The posts can only be seen by the people that are tagged in them. These posts won’t appear on your timeline anymore, but will still appear on other peoples timelines and search results unless the person who originally posted them removes them. You’ll also be removed as a contributor from any shared albums you have with the person you want to take a break from.”
While the feature can’t stop you from falling down a stalking rabbit hole - you’ll still be able to see your ex’s profile if you deliberately go in search of it - it does at least stop you from accidentally stumbling into photos of them and their annoyingly good looking new partner on the beach in southern Italy.
Of course, some will still prefer to go through the satisfying ritual of deleting their ex on Facebook altogether, including every single photo of the pair of you together, in a defiant act of proving that actually, maybe they never existed in the first place.
Zuck and co. have also brought in another new feature called ‘snooze’, which allows you to essentially delete someone for a period of 30 days, if you don’t want to see their posts in your feed, but also don’t want to bin them off completely.
For example, if your mate won’t stop posting pictures of their brand new baby, and it’s providing you with a terrifying and frequent reminder that you are 30 and still very much single, you can switch them off until that new kid hype has died down a little.
You can choose to unsnooze someone before the 30 days is up, but if you don’t they will automatically appear back in your feed anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you forget.
These moves are just the latest in a series of tinkerings Facebook has made to its News Feed. The company are trying to promote engagement and interaction between friends over more passive, ‘low quality’ content that users may read, but not feel compelled to share or interact with.
And they are also trying to give the individual user more control over how their feed looks, giving options to ‘see more’ and ‘see less’ of particular pages.
(Images: iStock / Facebook)