As Promised, Facebook Gives Users Greater Control Over their News Feed
Before Facebook gave users the option to hide unwanted posts, users were forced to browse through numerous stories from people, Pages, and Groups they’d followed. Greater ability to curate content from people, Pages, and Groups was one of the most frequently requested features from users. Fortunately, Facebook’s executives have paid heed to these requests.
On November 6, 2014, during a town hall Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO promised users greater control over what they see on their News Feed. The next day, Facebook announced new News Feed settings, which have made it easier for users to unfollow a friend, Page, or Group if they do not want to see their stories.
As shown in Figure 1 below, users will be presented with a list of the top people, Pages, and Groups that have appeared in their News Feed over the past week. Users can choose to sort by category or see an overall summary.
Previously, users had to tap the arrow on the top right of an unwanted post and select “I don’t want to see this post” to hide it. With the new settings, users are now given the option to see less stories from a friend, Page, or Group. [See Figure 2 below]
Users are also given the option to unfollow certain accounts. These actions can be undone by tapping “Undo”, as demonstrated in Figures 2 and 3. Users can easily re-follow accounts by visiting their News Feed settings. However, Greg Marra, Facebook’s Product Manager, notes that unfollowing doesn’t un-friend a person.
Based on his responses during the Q&A, Zuckerberg is clearly on the side of users. On the other hand, it remains to be seen how these new News Feed settings will impact businesses, as there’s a possibility that people who’ve followed business’s pages might hide their posts and other activities.
Facebook has since rolled out some updates aimed at lessening the organic reach of promotional posts from Pages. According to Zuckerberg, Facebook and its News Feed are always going to be optimized for users, not for businesses or marketers. Hence, businesses that want to reach customers will need to purchase ads on the social network.
The new News Feed settings were made available on desktop and mobile on November 7, 2014. Below is a video demo of the new settings, as presented by Marra.
Visit Facebook’s Help Center for more information on this update.
Latest posts by Marketing Digest Writing Team (see all)
- How Taco Bell Struck Gold with Its Memorable Viral Marketing Campaigns - September 15, 2015
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud Releases New Instagram Marketing Tools - September 12, 2015
- Chrome Begins Pausing Flash Ads by Default to Improve User Experience - September 3, 2015