Facebook is giving users more control over their News Feed. The social network this week introduced new features to manage what you share and what you see.
“The goal of News Feed is to connect you to what matters most to you: the people in your life, interesting content, and the world around you,” Facebook product manager Ramya Sethuraman wrote in a blog post. “The friends you add, the Pages you like, the groups you join, and the things you interact with all shape how your News Feed looks on any given day.”
And now you can shape it even further by adjusting your commenting audience. Choose who can remark on public posts via a new menu of options—from absolutely anyone to only tagged people and Pages. The same goes for public figures, creators, and brands.
There are, of course, your Favorites: up to 30 designated friends and Pages whose posts appear higher in ranked News Feed and can be viewed separately in the new Feed Filter Bar. There you’ll also find easier access to Most Recent, which makes it easy to switch between an algorithmically ranked News Feed and a chronological stream. Android users can already access the Feed Filter Bar at the top of their feed; the function is rolling out to Facebook’s iOS app “in the coming weeks.”
Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs and communication at Facebook, on Wednesday addressed dystopian depictions of technology, where “people are portrayed as powerless victims, robbed of their free will.”
“In the long run, people are only going to feel comfortable with these algorithmic systems if they have more visibility into how they work and then have the ability to exercise more informed control over them,” Clegg continued. “Companies like Facebook need to be frank about how the relationship between you and their major algorithms really work. And they need to give you more control.”
With that in mind, the firm this week announced that it will provide more context around suggested posts with a newly expanded “Why am I seeing this?” explainer. Tap on posts from friends, Pages, and Groups you follow, as well as Facebook’s recommendations, for specifics.
“We know that helping you better manage your experience on Facebook can support wellbeing, so we will continue to invest in ways to give you more control and context,” Sethuraman said. Visit the app’s News Feed preferences and privacy settings to tweek what you see on and how you share to your News Feed.