Facebook gives you control over the news feed stories

Facebook has rolled out an update in their news feed preferences on 9th July.  The biggest social media platform, has announced that they have revamped the algorithm that shows the posts on the user news feed. Newsfeed is a personalized stream of stories for each user that they built based on the people and pages they are connected with. Facebook was using your interests and actions you take (Likes, Comments, Clicks, Play Video) on a specific post to rank the stories in your news feed. And to provide you with the stories that matters the most for you. Facebook continuously tries to personalize the stream as per your interest. But “There is not any algorithm that can perfectly identify the human interest”. That’s why Facebook is directly asking users about what they want to see at the top of their news feed.
Facebook Product Manager Jacob Frants has written in the official post, “We’re always working to improve and personalize your News Feed experience. We know that ultimately you’re the only one who truly knows what is most meaningful to you and that is why we want to give you more ways to control what you see.”  Facebook has redesigned and expanded the news feed preferences that gives you more control over what you see in the news stream. The revamped preferences section has four sections that let you prioritize who to see first, unfollow people, reconnect with unfollowed people and helps you to find new pages to follow based on your interest.

Select friends and pages to see first

This feature makes sure that you don’t miss the posts from the people that matters the most to you. You can select the friends or pages you would like to see at the top of the news feed. What you have to do is just tap on the friend’s profile picture in the news feed preferences section and you will be able to see all posts they have shared since your last visit to Facebook on the top of the your news feed. You can select up to 30 friends or pages to set in news feed priorities.

Find new pages to connect to

This will help you find the pages that you would like to follow. Facebook will identify and understand the pages that are already liked by you and liked by the people like you. And they will offer you the recommendation based on your interest to show you the post that they think you will like to read. There is an opportunity for the marketers to get the paid recommendation here, but Facebook has denied the possibilities. Facebook has confirmed that paid recommendations is not the plan, at least for now.

Select which friends and Pages to follow or unfollow

Facebook has first allowed people to unfollow the post in news feed preferences in last November. But the interface of unfollow suggestion was not striking enough the catch the attention of users. Facebook has now revamped the user interface and made it interactive with playful crab mascot and choosing the bright colors. This new interface literally makes choosing the preferences a fun part. Unfollow people to hide the post feature shows you the lists of the friends who frequently appear in your news feed. It also shows the number of posts by a specific person or a page. That will let you know how much space it will increase in you news stream if you unfollow certain person/page. What if you unfollow any person and later you changes your mind to follow his/her posts again? Facebook news feed preferences now shows you the list of the friends/pages you have recently unfollowed. You can start following their posts from there only.

iPhone users in USA only have this advance news feed preference feature for now. News feed preferences will get updated for the Android devices and desktop in upcoming weeks. You need to tap on “More” at the bottom right hand corner of your mobile app. You can find the preferences under the settings. Facebook has been using the mechanical algorithm to rank the stories in your news feed that provides the best user experience till now. But finally they have figured out that only users can set the right preferences for their requirements.

That is why they are directly asking users now about what they want to see in the news feed. This looks pretty exciting feature to me as many times I have missed some important stories due to flooded unwanted posts in the feed. What is your take on this new feature of the Facebook? Share your thoughts in comment box below.

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