It has been long said that Facebook’s search function is mediocre at best. There was a time when finding old posts on the site was virtually impossible, and most search results would point to an Internet page outside of the social media site. Facebook’s search function also required a very specific keyword be used, otherwise the results would be less than useful. If too much time passed, the posts just seemed to disappear. Therefore, unsaved pictures or articles were eventually lost forever. This created a real need for Facebook to upgrade their search function.
The good news is that Facebook finally has decided to upgrade its search function. The improved search ability will allow users to find videos, pictures, articles and old posts that had once been thought of as long gone into the Facebook abyss. Prior to this long-awaited upgrade, the search for information was very limited, and it was impossible to search for post-specific data, such as “Christmas at Sharon’s house.”
With the new upgrade, the search tool is personalized, so a user can search with phrases such as, “friends who live in New York” or “restaurants in Manhattan.” However, for the unique search, the user is only able to see posts that were shared with them. The changes are set to take place this week for desktop and Apple users. There is no word on when the update will happen for Android.
Although the changes are highly welcomed for many users, the new function has the possibility of revealing old history that some may prefer stay hidden. Depending on the length of membership, this could mean posts going back ten years. The search function upgrade will release all posts sent out from an individual Facebook profile or that a user was tagged in since the beginning of their membership to the social media site.
Luckily, there is a pretty simple remedy for keeping old or unwanted posts from resurfacing. Each user has the ability to limit how far back other users can travel their timeline. In the Settings tab, click on Privacy and choose, “Limit Past Posts.” This option will allow limits or choices to be activated in regards to the audience who can receive certain posts on Facebook.
If this tool is used, content on the profile timeline shared with friends or public will change to “friends.” Also, remember that people who are tagged as well as their friends may see those posts as well. The other option is to independently change the audience of each post. Just go to the specific post and choose a different audience.
Facebook also offers a function called, “Privacy Checkup.” Click on the padlock at the top of the page next to Settings, and find the blue dinosaur. The “Privacy Checkup” will help review who is seeing posts and apps when logged into the site. This feature also controls who can see information from the user profile such as phone numbers and email addresses. The Facebook upgraded search function is a good reminder to regularly check privacy settings and make sure to secure personal content.
By Kelara Pumphrey
Photo by Johan Larsson — Flickr License