Home Facebook Automatically Changes User Settings For New Email Feature Test

Facebook Automatically Changes User Settings For New Email Feature Test

Facebook has announced a new test feature that will cut down on the frequency of emails that the platform sends to heavy users. Instead of getting email notifications for every new notification you receive on Facebook, the company will now send summary emails. This will significantly cut down on the email glut for users that are heavily engaged on Facebook.

The question is whether this type of feature is necessary. Those in the test group will have their notifications settings changed automatically. Users can change their settings back by updating their account settings. Yet, automatically changing users settings sets a dangerous precedent, one that many users will not take kindly to.

Anybody that has been on Facebook for any extended period of time will probably already have changed their account settings to reflect what notification emails they do and do not want coming from the platform. For instance, I changed my settings long ago so that Facebook sends me no emails for any type of notification except for a weekly summary of a page that I set up for a side project. I would not be happy if Facebook changed those settings for me.

So far, Facebook’s announcement has nearly 31,000 “Likes” and 5800 comments. That is excessive, even by Facebook’s own profile page standards. Granted, any time that Facebook posts to its own profile it becomes a forum for users to complain about any tweak the platform has made over the last year or so (the new sidebar “ticker” as well as the new privacy controls are a favorite punching bags). One Facebook user said in the comments, “I don’t have a clue as to what all the ado is about.”

How many Facebook users still rely on email notifications? Anybody with a smartphone or a tablet with the Facebook application installed gets all their notifications pushed to them in real time, thus making email notifications redundant. That is actually where a summary email instead of individual notifications could be helpful. When users are on the go and a notification pops up, it is likely they register that it is there, maybe send a reply, and then put their phones back into their pockets. It is easy to forget the variety of notification a user receives when they come in short bursts.

What is the bigger story here? Is it that Facebook is automatically changing users’ account settings for a feature rollout? Or is it the actual feature where Facebook looks to fork away from individual email notifications to summary emails? Let us know in the comments.

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