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Facebook loosens grip over teen sharing

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In order to retain teenagers’ interest in Facebook, the social networking giant has announced relaxation of privacy policies for teenagers on Wednesday.

Until Wednesday, teenage Facebook users between ages 13 and 17 were allowed to share pictures, videos and status updates only with their friends in the social networking circle or friends of friends. But, now thanks to the new relaxed privacy policies, teenagers can now choose to post publicly.

Teenagers will now have complete flexibility to change their account settings and share their posts, pictures and videos with the general Internet audience. Facebook is also allowing teens to turn on a ‘follow’ feature, which will show posts made by them in news feeds of other users.

The social networking giant, through a blog post, said “teens are among the savviest people using social media,” and that they want to be heard – be it “civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie.”

Facebook claims that despite the fact that only a small fraction of teens may actually post publicly, this option gives them the option to do so and get their voice and opinion heard more broadly “just like on other social media services”.

However, Facebook has made it clear that the company will be taking the teenage safety issue quite seriously and so an extra reminder will be given to the teenagers before they choose to share their post publicly.

This decision might work in favor of Facebook while competing with other social websites like Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Vine which allows teens to live their social life like free birds.