Facebook Puts Its Users in Control

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 10 Jul, 2015

Facebook is trying once again to improve the News Feed experience for its users. This time, however, the social network is putting its members in control.

With the update, users can select which friends and Pages they would like to see at the top of their News Feed. To do this, users can visit the News Feed Preferences and tap on a friend's profile picture to see their posts first. In doing so, the user will see any new stories that the selected friend has shared since the user's last visit to Facebook. The content will also be highlighted with a star in the top right of the post so users know why the content is at the top of their News Feed. Plus, users can scroll down to see the rest of their News Feed normally.

Facebook also unveiled a new way for users to discover Pages as well as a way for users to filter the friends and Pages they follow. For starters, the discovery feature simply recommends Pages to follow based on the type of Pages the user has liked in the past. Conversely, the filtering feature enables users to see a list of top people, Pages ad groups that they've seen in their News Feed over the past week. From this screen users can choose to unfollow people or Pages if they don't want to see their updates anymore. Moreover, users can see who they've unfollowed in the past and choose to re-follow them at any time.

"News Feed is a personalized stream of stories that you build from the people and Pages you've connected to on Facebook. The goal of News Feed is to show you the stories that matter most to you. To do this, we use ranking to order stories based on how interesting we believe they are to you: specifically, whom you tend to interact with, and what kinds of content you tend to like and comment on," Facebook said in its announcement.

To leverage these new features, users must tap "More" in the bottom right hand corner of their mobile app. The News Feed preferences can then be found under "Settings." It is important to note that the updates are currently available on iOS devices and will be rolling out on Android and desktops over the coming weeks.