Facebook trialling tools to make breaking up easier

New features to limit what ex-partners can see, without having to unfriend or block them

Tags: Facebook Incorporation
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Facebook trialling tools to make breaking up easier Facebook is testing the features in the US initially, ahead of a planned global roll-out (Getty Images)
By  Tom Paye Published  November 22, 2015

Facebook is trialling new tools to help ex-spouses in the event of a break-up, the company announced last week.

The idea, the social network said, is to provide more options to people who have just gotten out of relationships. After all, many people are all-too familiar with the gut-wrenching feeling that comes about as a result of stumbling across an ex-partner's post, or being reminded of better times with an old loved one through the social network's Memories function.

The new tools, then, will be made available when users change their relationship status from ‘in a relationship'. Upon changing the status on their profile, the users will be prompted to try the new tools, which provide a range of functionalities.

For one, they will provide the ability to see less of a former partner's name and profile picture around Facebook without having to unfriend or block them. Their posts won't show up in News Feed, and their name won't be suggested when people write a new message of tag friends in photos.

The tools can also limit the photos, videos or status updates that a former partner will see. They will also allow users to edit who can see their past posts with a former partner, as well as untag themselves from posts with that person.

"We're starting to test these tools today in the US on mobile, and we'll make changes and roll them out further based on people's feedback. All of these tools are optional, and people will be able to access them in the help centre anytime," wrote Kelly Winters, product manager at Facebook, in a post about the new features.

"This work is part of our ongoing effort to develop resources for people who may be going through difficult moments in their lives. We hope these tools will help people end relationships on Facebook with greater ease, comfort and sense of control."

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