Facebook tests tool to limit your exposure to recent exes

The social network introduces a function that allows users to see less of their former romantic partner, instead of unfriending them.

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
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Daniel Van Boom
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Sometimes less ex is a plus.


Many find social media difficult after a breakup, struggling with the posts and pictures of their ex but not wanting to take the drastic measure of unfriending or blocking them completely. On Thursday, Facebook started testing a tool to help solve this dilemma.

After changing your relationship status from "in a relationship" to "single," Facebook will give you the option of limiting exposure to photos, posts and mentions of the person you'd registered as being in a relationship with. The function, which is still in its testing phase, is available to mobile users in the United States. It's expected to roll out beyond the US early next year.

"Facebook is a place for sharing life's important moments, which for many people include their romantic relationships," said Facebook product manager Kelly Winters in a statement. "When a relationship ends, we've heard from people that they sometimes have questions about the options available to them on Facebook."

It's the latest of many notable changes the social network has implemented in recent months. In September, US users were given the ability to use video for their profile pictures. In October, Facebook introduced a more robust video-streaming interface. Those updates came after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced back in August that, for the first time, over 1 billion people had used Facebook in a single day. It's an achievement he appears to not be taking lightly.

There had been conjecture that Facebook would add a "dislike" button after Zuckerberg said that the "like" button couldn't express a wide enough range of emotion. Instead, the company in October began testing icons that represent love, laughter, happiness, shock, sadness and anger.