June 21, 2024

Facebook Launches ‘Link History’ Feature To Track Digital Journey

In a strategic move to enhance user experience and, inevitably, its advertising power, Facebook has introduced a new feature called the “Link Chronicle”.

Thanks to the feature, you can now get back to the sites you previously visited, which are often lost or forgotten.

This tool serves as a comprehensive catalog to store the names and links of websites that you visit through the social media platform.

This is a novel idea from Facebook to help its users retrace their digital footprints, helping them with valuable resources to view their recent online interactions.

The social media platform is currently marketing this new feature. On the site, the pop-up reads, “Easily get back to recent links you’ve visited with your Facebook browsing activity now saved in one place”.

This is an effective solution for users who lose track of links they visited through Facebook.

While users should be happy with the new feature on Facebook, there’s a catch you must understand. Users, while opting for this feature, automatically grant access to the social media platform to access this information for targeted advertisement.

The integration of Link History implies that information gathered by Facebook may not remain confined to the social media platform only, but reach other platforms owned by Meta, like Instagram.

The Link History feature remains on by default, and the social media platform allows users to switch it off manually through its settings. However, Facebook hasn’t rolled out this feature globally at the moment.

It clarified that the Link History feature is “being introduced globally over time and may not be available in your location”. This selective deployment of the new feature raises questions about the political disparities in data protection norms across the world.

When you click any link from your Facebook feed, it will open in Facebook’s proprietary “Mobile Browser” rather than the default browser on your handset.

The Link History contains a list of links you clicked within the last 30 days — this timeframe has been designed to balance privacy concerns and utility.

This strategic move from Facebook ensures that users don’t leave the platform while empowering its analysts with better capacity to monitor and track the online activities of users.

Facebook has also addressed issues for those who prioritize privacy, offering a provision to opt out of the feature. Therefore, users reserve the freedom to disable the Link History Option on iOS and Android apps.

You can choose whether or not to allow Facebook to track your browsing history by clicking on the link and opening the Mobile Browser. Then, choose “Browser settings” which is accessible through the three dots on the right side at the bottom.

Facebook also clarified that if a user turns off the link history, it will delete the record of links of the user immediately. Besides, the social media platform stated that it wouldn’t save the data or use it to streamline its advertisement strategies across other Meta platforms.

However, you should be aware of the technology using which social media companies collect data, and that they might remain on Meta’s servers for up to 90 days.

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