Control What You See in Your Facebook News Feed

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Clients, colleagues, friends and my social media students are constantly frustrated by what they see (or don’t see) in their Facebook News Feed. The struggle is real! Well folks, I have good news for you: you can control what you see in your Facebook News Feed (mostly).

Friends? ✔ Pages? ✔ Groups? ✔ — no problem! See more relevant sponsored posts? ✔ (whether you want to see them or not). I’ll show you how to customize your feed after a little background.

THE GOAL OF FACEBOOK’S NEWS FEED

Goal: show you stories that matter to you most. Historically, this is defined by actions people take on a post — liking, clicking, commenting or sharing. But is that what is most meaningful to you? 

According to Facebook, no. News Feed will now consider “the probability that you would want to see the story at the top of your feed and the probability that you will like, comment on, click or share a story. We will rank stories higher in feed which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see near the top of their News Feed.”

News Feed is where it is today because Facebook uses what is called a Feed Quality Panel to survey 1000 users daily about their experience on the platform. Plus, they survey tens of thousands of people around the world about how they rank posts in their feeds. Users will rate each story from one to five stars in response to the question “how much did you want to see this story in your News Feed?” And that, in a nutshell, is why you see what you see – by default.

Want to take a little more control and tell Facebook what you want to see? Easier than you think. The problem is Facebook doesn’t really go out of its way to tell you about some of these nifty features that will help you personalize your feed. Now, I’ll show you how.

SEE PAGES YOU WANT TO SEE

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When you like a page, be sure to click the like button again until you see a drop down menu and choose “news feed default” — then select one of the options and you’ll see (or never see) posts from that page again. Through this same process, you can also turn on notifications for pages, so as soon as they post something, you get a heads up.

GET PAGE NOTIFICATIONS

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On that same menu, click the notifications tab and adjust accordingly.

HIDE ALL POSTS FROM PAGE (EVEN IF A FRIEND SHARES CONTENT FROM THAT PAGE)

It works the other way too — what if you are tired of seeing videos that some crappy radio station stole from YouTube and uploaded to their facebook page as “their own”? Or a page that posts too much, or posts things that drive you crazy? Click that tiny little, hard-to-see drop down arrow that is in the top right of every post in your feed, and joyfully click “HIDE ad – See fewer ads like this”:

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What if a friend shares content from a page that you don’t already follow and it shows up in your feed? When you click the arrow, you should see something like “Hide all from XYZ page”. I really enjoy clicking that one 🙂

HIDE IRRELEVANT ADS, SHOW MORE RELEVANT ADS

I actually study Facebook ads that show in my feed so I do not use any adblockers. However, Facebook gives me and you a way to hide irrelevant ads or to identify ads that are indeed relevant to you (This ad is useful):

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QUIETLY UNFOLLOW ANNOYING FRIENDS (BUT STAY FRIENDS)

You can quietly unfollow annoying friends and pages without having to unfriend/unlike either:

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MORE CUSTOMIZATIONS

If you explore further on desktop or in app, you’ll find a favorites section and list of various pages, groups etc. Click, explore, rearrange and customize your various options — “pages feed”, “close friends feed”, “saved” content and more:

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SEE TOP STORIES OR MOST RECENT STORIES

Click the arrow next to News Feed and you’ll have the option to choose between top and most recent stories:

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Not so hard, right? Now quit your complaining, take control of the situation and cut the BS from your feed. 

-Dan Grody, TGPR