Face­book tries to ease breakups with new tool

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

SAN FRANCISCO: Face­book is try­ing to ease the heartache of break­ing up. A fea­ture an­nounced Thurs­day will al­low peo­ple who have split up with a spouse or part­ner to turn on an op­tion that spares them the emo­tional pain of con­stantly see­ing their exlover’s posts and pic­tures in their news feed on the world’s largest so­cial net­work. Face­book will be­gin test­ing the breakup pro­tec­tion on mo­bile de­vices in the US be­fore de­cid­ing whether to of­fer it to all of its 1.5 bil­lion ac­coun­thold­ers world­wide. The op­tion is de­signed for peo­ple who don’t want to risk of­fend­ing a for­mer hus­band, wife, girl­friend or boyfriend by tak­ing the more ex­treme step of eject­ing or block­ing them from their Face­book net­work.

Af­ter chang­ing their re­la­tion­ship sta­tus on Face­book, peo­ple will also be al­lowed to re­move their names from past posts link­ing them to a for­mer part­ner. “This work is part of our on­go­ing ef­fort to de­velop re­sources for peo­ple who may be go­ing through dif­fi­cult mo­ments in their lives,” Face­book prod­uct man­ager Kelly Win­ters wrote in a blog post. The breakup pro­tec­tion serves as an­other re­minder of how deeply in­grained Face­book has be­come in so­ci­ety. More than 1 bil­lion peo­ple now hang out on Face­book at least once a day and those who have the net­work’s ad­dic­tive mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion in­stalled on their smart­phones tend to visit even more fre­quently.

The Menlo Park, Cal­i­for­nia, com­pany has in­cen­tive to try to keep its users as happy as pos­si­ble. Peo­ple who be­come up­set with what ap­pears in their Face­book feeds are more likely to avoid com­ing to the net­work, de­priv­ing the com­pany of the op­por­tu­nity to col­lect more in­for­ma­tion about their pref­er­ences and show them ads aimed at those in­ter­ests.

The for­mula has turned Face­book into a huge suc­cess story since Mark Zucker­berg founded the ser­vice in a Har­vard Univer­sity dorm room more than a decade ago. Face­book’s mar­ket value now stands at $300 bil­lion. — AP

MENLO PARK: This July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Face­book head­quar­ters in Menlo Park, Cal­i­for­nia. — AP

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