Facebook has started archiving all users’ link history globally on both Android and iOS devices.
While users have the option to opt out, the feature is turned on by default, allowing Meta to utilize the collected data for targeted advertising.
Why we care. As the digital marketing industry moves towards a cookieless future and stricter privacy laws, targeted advertising, while effective, faces uncertainties. Facebook’s new feature could very well prove to be a loophole for marketers wishing to reach high-value consumers, but the solution could be temporary.
Accessibility. This feature is gradually being introduced and so may not be currently available in your location. Meta hasn’t provided a specific timeline for the rollout of the Link History archive option just yet, but it has confirmed it will be expanding to all mobile users globally.
As of now, this feature is exclusive to mobile and is not available on desktop.
How it works. Link History is a feature that keeps track of the websites you’ve visited on the Facebook mobile browser over the last 30 days. If enabled, it stores links you’ve tapped within Facebook’s Mobile Browser for this duration. It’s important to note that links visited in Messenger chats are not included in Link History.
How to turn Link History off. To turn off this feature, follow these steps:
- Select any link within the Facebook app to launch Facebook’s Mobile Browser.
- Click on the three dots located in the bottom right corner, then select Browser settings.
- To enable link history, toggle the switch next to “Allow Link History”, and confirm by tapping “Allow”.
- To disable link history, toggle the switch next to “Allow Link History”, and confirm by tapping “Don’t Allow”.
What Facebook is saying. A Facebook spokesperson said:
- “You can choose to turn link history on or off at any time. When you turn link history off, we will immediately clear your link history and you will no longer be able to see any links that you’ve visited. Additionally, we won’t save your link history or use it to improve your ads across Meta technologies.”
- “When you turn link history off, it may take Meta up to 90 days to complete the deletion process.”
- “When link history is on, we may use link history information from Facebook’s Mobile Browser to improve your ads across Meta technologies.”
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Deep dive. Read Facebook’s announcement in full for more information.