After breakup, Facebook makes it easier to move on
Breaking up is now a little easier to do, at least on Facebook, thanks to a new feature that lets people untangle themselves from a relationship without cutting ties altogether.
The operator of the world's biggest social network introduced a tool on Thursday for users to "take a break" after changing the status of a relationship with another person, letting them see less of an ex's posts without blocking or unfriending them. People can also tell Facebook to show an ex less information.
While the feature might seem intrusive, it's become more necessary as Facebook has worked to highlight a user's most important relationships. The company is using its data to make better suggestions, such as who should be invited to events or whose birthdays are more important to celebrate. For example, Facebook has been serving up flashback memories of older posts, which, after a breakup, could bring back bad memories. And Facebook doesn't want to drive away any of its 1.55 billion users.
"This work is part of our ongoing effort to develop resources for people who may be going through difficult moments in their lives," the company said in the blog post. "We hope these tools will help people end relationships on Facebook with greater ease, comfort and sense of control."
The tools are more subtle than unfriending or unfollowing someone the ex won't see any changes. Twitter, which lets users know if they were blocked, came up with a similar option last year, adding a "mute" button that would keep users from seeing someone's posts without letting them know.
Facebook's new breakup feature is also reversible just in case.