Facebook has finally launched this feature they announced during last year’s F8 conference. Clear History was set to launch soon after that announcement but a more than year later we were still waiting for it. It’s is finally here but under a different name, “Off-Facebook Activity”. This tool that will allow people to see what kind of information Facebook has colleges about their online activity outside of Facebook including news and shopping websites visited. Users will now have an option to dissociate that data from their accounts.
If you’re wondering, Facebook collected data two ways; one from Facebook itself and the other from tracking you on non-Facebook websites and that’s why you start seeing ads of retail stuff on your Instagram and Facebook feed after online window shopping on your favourite e-commerce sites. Other browsing history Facebook tracks you with in life the “login with Facebook”, “Like” button, Facebook comments and Facebook pixels embedded on certain sites.
Facebook uses your digital footprints for targeted ads that are sometimes too horrifying. This data has been only accessible to Facebook and now that they’re giving that access to its consumers is a welcome move albeit a late one – Facebook said that it was taking long as they had to redesign how data is stored and processed to be indexed in order for dissociation from user accounts.
The “Off-Facebook Activity” tool will allow Facebook users to manage that external browsing data.
Here’s how it will work
The new tool is found in Account Settings > Off-Facebook Activity
“Off-Facebook Activity” tool displays a summary of those third-party websites that shared your visit with the social media giant and then allow you to dissociate your browsing history.
You not also get the ability to opt-out of future off-Facebook activity tracking buy also selectively stop certain sites from sending your browsing history to Facebook.
Who is it rolling out to?
This feature is rolling out to some users in Ireland, South Korea and Spain. It will later roll out globally in the next coming months.
Facebook isn’t deleting your browsing data but only disconnecting your account to that data that will still appear in aggregated audience data.
When you disconnect your account, you won’t get any targeted ads on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp (soon) as Facebook won’t know which websites a user visits or what their did on that website.
Facebook will treat users who have cleared their histories similar to how they treat logged out users or people with no Facebook accounts.