Facebook has introduced a ‘Link History’ setting on its mobile app that keeps track of all the websites you’ve visited on the platform in the last 30 days. The setting, now available on the Facebook app on both iOS and Android, is an optional one but is turned on by default. Facebook users are reportedly getting an in-app pop-up that informs them about the link history feature and gives them a chance to toggle the setting off. While Facebook paints link history as a useful and handy bank for all the recent links you’ve clicked on, there is of course, in true Meta fashion, a privacy catch.
According to Facebook support page, link history toggle is rolling out on its mobile app. The feature, now available on the Facebook app on iOS and Android, is being gradually introduced globally. As mentioned before, when turned on, the link history setting saves the list of websites a user has visited on Facebook mobile browser in the last 30 days.
Facebook also notes the setting does not include the links visited in chats on Messenger. “You can choose to turn link history on or off at any time. When link history is on, any links that you’ve tapped inside of Facebook and visited in Facebook’s Mobile Browser will be saved here for 30 days,” the support page explains.
Some users have reportedly started receiving a pop-up for the link history setting when they access the Facebook app. According to a report in Gizmodo, the feature is posited as a nifty tool to save all your links. The in-app prompt reads ‘Never lose a link again,’ and adds “Easily get back the recent links you’ve visited with your Facebook browsing activity now saved in one place.”
There is, however, a privacy concern in the mix, too. In both its support page for the link history toggle and the in-app pop-up, Facebook clarifies that it might use your saved list of links to send targeted ads to you across its platforms and technologies. “Bear in mind that when link history is on, we may use link history information from Facebook’s Mobile Browser to improve your ads across Meta technologies,” the support page says. This effectively turns your link history an all-in-one-place interest board for Facebook to access and utilise to send targeted advertisements to users.
To turn link history on or off on the Facebook mobile app, open any link inside the app to launch the Facebook mobile browser. Then, tap the three-dot menu in the bottom right and select Browser settings. To turn the setting off or on, hit the toggle and confirm your choice. Meta says that it will immediately clear your link history when the setting is turned off and it won’t use your browsing activity to “improve your ads” across its platforms. But it also notes that it may take up to 90 days to completely delete your list of links.
Meta already offers the link history feature on the Instagram app on mobile phones. The setting can be accessed in the Your activity option in the menu. Last month, Facebook said that one-on-one chats and calls on the Messenger app would be protected by end-to-end encryption by default.
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