Facebook killed off an old privacy setting today that let users disable their profiles from popping up in search results. While it hasn’t been possible to activate this privacy option for a year, users that had the setting turned on at the time Facebook removed it were still able to continue using it, until now.
Now no matter who you search for on Facebook, their profile will be guaranteed to pop-up. As for users that were previously ‘unsearchable’, you will now see a message show up the next time you visit Facebook telling you that the “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” setting has been removed.
Facebook states that it chose to remove the setting as it has started to become less relevant.
The setting was created when Facebook was a simple directory of profiles and it was very limited. For example, it didn’t prevent people from navigating to your Timeline by clicking your name in a story in News Feed, or from a mutual friend’s Timeline.
The setting also made Facebook’s search feature feel broken at times. For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn’t find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn’t find each other through search.
Read more about the change and see the company’s full press release here.