Facebook users who login from a desktop computer today will find this new login screen. Facebook has also changed some of its privacy settings.
The new login screen apparently does not affect all users. In is only shown to some users instead. The change probably has to do with Facebook’s new messaging app that is supposed to compete with Whatsapp. With this new app, Facebook makes it possible for users to use its service by registering with a phone number. No email address will be required.
As for the privacy settings, the main focus of the changes is to clarify for users how their information is shared across the social network. For example, some users have been confused about why a post deleted from their profile page could still appear on their friends’ pages. The new privacy controls will now make that clear, Facebook said.
The changes build on privacy features introduced last year and also aim to clarify problems Facebook has identified with its new, scrapbook-like “Timeline” layout, which displays all the information users have ever publicly posted on Facebook.
The company is aware that users were confused about how the Timeline interacts with the rest of site. “At Facebook we care deeply about avoiding surprises. We want people to understand how they control the information and make the choices that are right for them,” said Erin Egan, the network’s chief privacy officer.
Facebook’s settings, once split between “Account settings” and “Privacy settings” are now unified, with a guide on the left-side of the page that directs users to different kinds of settings. To give users a more immediate snapshot of how their information is being shared on the network, Facebook has added a new lock icon to its top navigation bar with a menu that answers three questions: “Who can see my stuff?,” “Who can contact me?” and “How do I stop someone from bothering me?”
Of course, any time Facebook makes any visual or functional changes, users have to adjust. The frequency with which the social network reorganizes features and introduces new ones is a source of frustration for many people. Another upcoming change that some users will dislike is the phase out of the “Who can look up my timeline by name?” setting. Facebook will soon make it so that users can not hide themselves from Facebook search. The company points out that the setting was limited in that users can be found a number of other ways on the site. It has removed the setting for users who were not using it, and will gradually remove it for the “small percentage” of users who are.