Facebook’s continued investment of resources and the procuring of the best engineering talent across the globe has meant that it’s been able to not only position itself at the forefront of social networking, but also branch out in other areas via the acquisition of startups and other companies. As part of that continued development into its core business, it has invested effort into improving one of the most important key areas of the site – the constantly evolving News Feed.
Facebook’s site and native mobile apps may pack in a whole variety of features and entertaining avenues to hold the users’ interest, but the News Feed is, and always has been, the area where it all happens. In fact, the News Feed is so fundamental to what Facebook is all about that it can actually play a pivotal role in the length of time that users can actually spend browsing through the site or apps. The company has spent a lot of time in the past trying to make its News Feed more relevant to individuals with various algorithms that automatically showed what it thought was relevant to users. The problem with this approach was that it wasn’t very accurate, which resulted in many users never getting to see what was actually important to them. But now, besides those automated algorithms, Facebook is introducing manual control for users where they can choose to bring content that is more meaningful to the forefront.
Starting with the iOS app from today, there is a new set of controls hidden away under the More tab in a section called ‘News Feed Preferences.’ The newly implemented settings essentially make it a lot easier to bring relevant content from the friends, pages and groups you choose to the top of the pile in your News Feed no matter what while also banishing the content from those people and pages that you don’t really care about anymore.
The three key features in this new update, as highlighted by Facebook, are:
- Select friends and Pages to see first
- Find new Pages to connect to
- Select which friends and Pages to follow or unfollow
The first one is rather easy to understand, simply launch the News Feed Preferences in the Facebook app under the ‘More’ tab, and then tap on ‘Prioritize who to see first.’ From here you can simply tap on the user’s profile image or select a Facebook Page, and when you open the Facebook app the next time, it will first show you the updates from your selected users and Pages front and center in News Feed.
Tapping on the ‘Discover new Pages’ section will bring you to an area filled with recommended Pages which you should follow on Facebook. These suggestions are based entirely on the Pages you have already liked.
The remaining two sections are self-explanatory – ‘Unfollow people to hide their posts’ and ‘Reconnect with people you unfollowed.’ If you ever have a change of mind whom to follow or unfollow, then these two sections are where you need to be.
The latest changes are available now from within the More tab of the iOS app. Amendments to the main web version and Android app will follow soon.