The change announced Wednesday affects Facebook users who list their ages as being somewhere from 13 to 17.
Until now, Facebook users falling within that age group had been limited to sharing information and photos only with their own friends or friends of those friends.
The new policy will give teens the choice of switching their settings so their posts can be accessible to the general public. Facebook says teens opting to be more open will receive a warning that they are exposing themselves to a broader audience.
The initial privacy settings of teens under 18 will automatically be programmed so posts are seen only by friends.