Facebook Is About to Make Facebook a Whole Lot Better
Facebook wants to give you better control over the friends you're seeing and the ones you can't stand anymore.
The social media giant announced a new set of changes to let you easily alter your news feed settings for the better. You'll be able to unfollow friends, or just change the degree to which their posts appear on your feed, without unfriending them or letting them know. Some of these features existed before, but finding them in Facebook's complex privacy settings required Indiana Jones-like talent.
It's not just friends either. You can do the same for pages you like, meaning you can easily find and get rid of updates from that one business you liked five years ago that keeps clogging your feed.
How it works: You'll soon see an option to manage your news feed, both on your computer and your phone. It will show you a list of people ranked by post frequency, meaning you can see which of your friends really won't shut up.
From that point, you can change how often Facebook allows that person's posts on your feed. You can also unfollow them outright, though you'll remain their friend. (No awkward unfriending — your acquaintance will be none the wiser.)
The list of people you've unfollowed will be kept there too, so if you find that you've actually been missing all their political opinions or baby photos you can jump right back in and refollow.
What it means: One of users' biggest criticism of Facebook has been the bloated nature of the news feed, in which someone you barely knew in high school who posts five times a day will easily overshadow a really good friend who posts much less often.
This customization is an attempt to fix that, with the added benefit of giving users better control over the pages and ads they see. "Are we trying to optimize News Feed to give each person, all of you guys, the best experience when you're reading? Or are we trying to help businesses just reach as many people as possible?" founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a Q&A this week. "And in every decision that we make, we optimize for the first, for making it so that for the people that we serve that use Facebook and are reading News Feed get the very best experience that they can."
It's not necessarily a game-changer for the company, but it looks like a big boon for anyone who's tired of reading about their fifth grade friend's new house or their random cousin's new baby. And frankly, it's about time.