Facebook's news feed algorithm, which determines the posts you see and the ones you don't, has been a work in progress -- and pain point for users -- for years. This week, the social network took another step toward giving back some control with a new set of preferences that dictate which friends and pages you want to see content from first.
"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," says Jacob Frantz, product manager at Facebook.
Facebook's News Feed Preferences let you select the friends and pages you'd like to see at the top of your news feed. It also offers quick ways to hide and unfollow posts from friends, and view the people you've already unfollowed.
These changes follow updates the social network announced in April to better balance users' news feeds.
Facebook's newest preferences aren't the only ways you can tailor your news feed. Here's a look at the latest changes, plus other tips to clean up the clutter.
1. Prioritize friends and pages
To access News Feed Preferences from a mobile device, tap the More tab at the bottom, then scroll to Settings and tap News Feed Preferences. Then find "Prioritize who to see first"to select friends and pages.
To add a friend, tap their profile picture. The next time you load your news feed, you'll see the stories that they've shared since your last visit to Facebook at the top. Their posts will feature a star in the top-right to show that Facebook has prioritized them. Scroll beyond your starred posts to see the rest of your news feed content.
To prioritize friends and pages from the desktop, hover over the News Feed button in the menu on the left, click the gear icon, then select Edit Preferences. This will show you the friends who appeared most in your news feed in the last week. You can also sort your friend list alphabetically.
To prioritize a friend, click the drop-down menu beside their name and select See First. To prioritize pages, click the Pages tab from the menu on the left.
2. Hide friends and pages
Everyone has a friend who posts too often and floods your news feed with annoying memes and baby pictures. Facebook has a few ways you can rid them from your news feed.
To unfollow someone via Facebook's new News Feed Preferences page, tap "Unfollow people to hide their posts." Scroll through your list of friends and pages and tap the ones you want to unfollow. Unfollowing a friend is different from unfriending them; Unfollowing means you won't see their posts in your news feed, but you remain Facebook friends. This page does not let you search for friends by name.
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