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Facebook beta testing Page comment privacy feature that could potentially kill engagement rates

Photo: geralt/Pixabay

Facebook has started beta testing a new feature that allows fans of pages to limit conversations to their friends and page admins only.

I first spotted the feature a few days ago when commenting on an aviation Page. A small message popped up letting me know I had the ability to control who could see my comments. There were two options, “Friends & the Page admins” and “Public”.

The first option limits your page comment visibility to those on your friends list, whether they liked the Page or not. The second option allows anyone to see it, just like how comments are displayed presently. The first two photos are what I saw on my profile while the last was taken from a user that is not on my friends list. As you can see, my comment is hidden even though you still see “2 comment” via the comment counter.

So far I have only been able to view this privacy setting via my profile on desktop machines. None of my friends reporting seeing the option, which means that I am part of a sample group testing the option.

One annoying quirk is the inability to keep your preferred setting as the option changes back to “Friends & the Page admins” even if you change and comment under the “Public” setting.

Assuming this feature does stick and rolls out to the masses, it could bring even more doom and gloom for Page owners as many Facebook users may forget to keep changing the option to Public before commenting, significantly limiting comment visibility.

However, let’s keep in mind that not all beta tested features make it to the live version.

My profile

Comment box viewed from someone not on my friends list

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