Facebook now gives you more — control over the content in your news feed. Use our tips to ditch the noise
Facebook’s news feed algorithm — the secret sauce that determines what content you do and don’t see — is a constant work in progress.
Earlier this year, Facebook rolled out a handful of changes to serve you less spam and show you fewer ads, more videos, and less auto-shared content from apps like Spotify and Pinterest. Most recently, the social network changed its algorithm to prioritize posts based on whether a topic is trending and when — instead of how many — people like, share, or comment on it.
But despite its latest efforts to make it more effective, Facebook’s news feed is still a pain point for many users who simply want to manage it themselves. Last week, the social network launched a new tool that gives you more — but not absolute — control over the content in your news feed. “News feed is where you to go catch up on what’s happening with your friends and find the content that matters to you,” Greg Marra, Facebook product manager, said in a blog post. “What you do in news feed helps determine who you want to connect to, and what pages and public figures you want to follow. Starting today, there will be more ways for you to control and give feedback on your news feed.”
Here’s a look at the newest feature to help you control what you see — plus three more tips to cut through your news feed clutter.
Facebook’s new tool for both desktop and mobile users gives you more control over the posts from people, pages, and groups that appear in your news feed. The new settings, which launched Friday, let you quickly unfollow any friends, pages, or groups, and they will show you which pages you interact with the most and which ones you’ve already unfollowed.
To hide a story that appears in your news feed, tap or click the arrow in the top right. This option isn’t new, but if you choose it, Facebook will ask you if you’d like to see less from that person, group, or page. If you do, Facebook will give you the option to unfollow that person, group, or page. You can always re-follow a person, group, or page’s posts by visiting your news feed settings — the other new feature Facebook launched.
To access your news feed settings page from desktop, click the gear icon that appears next to the news feed option on the left-side menu. On mobile, tap the More option and scroll to Manage News Feed.
This new section will show you a list of the top people, pages, and groups that you’ve seen in your news feed over the past week. You can sort these details by people, pages, or groups — or you can see an overall summary, the company said in a blog post. The summary option wasn’t yet available to me in the iOS app; Facebook said it will gradually roll out to all users.
You can search for people, pages, and groups and unfollow or re-follow them by tapping a button. Unfollowing is not the same as unfriending someone, unliking a page, or leaving a group — all it does is remove the content from your news feed.
2. Sort by “Most Recent Posts”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company is constantly tweaking its news feed algorithm with hopes of it becoming “the perfect personalized newspaper
for everyone in the world.”
Your news feed contains more than 1,500 stories every day, according to the company, and Facebook’s algorithm surfaces the 10% that it considers most relevant to you. These stories are highlighted under the default “Top Stories” view — but you can change it to display your posts in a more chronological order. To switch your view from Top Stories to Most Recent on a desktop, click the “Sort” option that appears at the very top of your News Feed — below the status update box and above the first post. When you switch to “Most Recent,” the top of your feed will read “Viewing most recent stories.”