Facebook has introduced a “link history” setting in its mobile app that tracks all the websites you've visited on the platform in the last 30 days. The setting, now available in the Facebook app on iOS and Android, is optional but turned on by default. Facebook users are reportedly getting an in-app pop-up informing them of the link history feature and giving them the option to toggle the setting. While Facebook presents Link History as a useful and handy bank of all the recent links you've clicked on, in true meta fashion of course, there is a privacy catch.
According to Facebook Support page, the link history toggle extends to its mobile app. The feature, which is already available in the Facebook app on iOS and Android, will gradually roll out globally. As mentioned earlier, when enabled, the link history setting stores a list of websites that the user has visited in the Facebook mobile browser in the last 30 days.
Facebook also notes that the setting does not include links viewed in Messenger chats. “You can choose to turn link history on or off at any time. When link history is turned on, any links you tap inside Facebook and visit in a Facebook mobile browser will be stored here for 30 days,” the support page explains.
Some users have reportedly started getting a pop-up window for link history settings when they access the Facebook app. According to A account At Gizmodo, the feature is positioned as a good tool for keeping track of all your links. The in-app prompt reads “Never lose a link again” and adds “Easily retrieve recent links you've visited through your Facebook browsing activity, now stored in one place.”
However, there are also privacy concerns in the mix. On both the link history toggle and in-app popup support page, Facebook explains that it may use your saved link list to send you targeted ads across its platforms and technologies. “Note that when link history is enabled, we may use link history information from Facebook's mobile browser to improve your ad meta technologies,” the support page says. This effectively puts your link history in one place on a dashboard that Facebook can access and use to send targeted ads to users.
To turn link history on or off on the Facebook mobile app, open any link within the app to launch the Facebook mobile browser. Then, tap the three-dot menu in the lower-right corner and select Browser Settings. To turn the setting off or on, click the switch and confirm your selection. Meta says it will immediately clear your link history when the setting is turned off, and it won't use your browsing activity to “improve your ads” on its platforms. But it also mentions that it may take up to 90 days for your link list to be completely deleted.
Meta already offers Link history feature in Instagram app for mobile phones. The setting can be accessed in the menu under your activity option. Last month, Facebook announced that one-to-one chats and calls on its Messenger app would be protected by end-to-end encryption by default.