Facebook introduced changes to its News Feed this week that allow users to better control the content they see. Instead of being dictated merely by an algorithm that observes what they do on the site, users can prioritize updates with a feature called “See First.”
The tool, which takes the form of a colorful and easy-to-use interface at the bottom of Facebook’s Settings menu, lets users choose which users or pages they like to see in their news feeds first, as well as the ability to unfollow people, reconnect with people they have unfollowed and discover new pages. This feature is only available to iOS users for now, though the site says it will roll out to other platforms soon.
“Historically, News Feed has always looked at what do you do, what do you look at, what do you like, what do you comment on,” Facebook produce director Adam Mosseri told TIME Magazine. “But that wasn’t enough.”
For pages, hover over the ‘Like’ button and you should see the option to ‘See First.’ If you want to see certain friends, then hover over the ‘Following’ button.
We still recommend using Facebook lists to gain even more control over what you see on Facebook.
It’s a little troubling that Facebook’s old way of figuring out your News Feed was basically by tracking everything you did, but it’s nice that the site has given you back some measure of control. And it isn’t just the control that’s nice; it’s the feeling of control. Facebook knows that it isn’t trusted by the public on issues of privacy, so the more the site can make people feel comfortable and safe, the better.