For many years, Facebook insisted that the algorithms were the best way to cure what people saw on their news feed. It was like being told that machine learning systems knew what you wanted better than you did. Only recently has the social media giant taken a completely different approach. After allowing users to prioritize posts from selected friends and pages, it now introduces a new “Feed Filter” menu that gives you quick access to the “Latest” setting, allowing you to turn off the algorithmically ranked news feed. That way, you will see posts from friends, pages and groups in the order they were posted. The new menu also includes several news feed controls, including the favorite setting that increases the content of your chosen friends.
The update is currently available for Android app users as they scroll up their feed and is scheduled for the iPhone app in the coming weeks. It comes with additional controls, including a snooze option that allows you to temporarily hide posts from a person, page or group. Facebook also added the ability to turn off political ads, which has caused a furore over their alleged role in spreading misinformation and confusion.
In line with the latest strategy, Facebook is rolling out a separate tool that allows you to choose who can comment on your public posts. Now when you go to share something on the social network, you can restrict comments to friends or profiles and pages you have tagged. The setting should feel familiar to Twitter users who have had the opportunity to restrict replies to tweets since August last year. To avoid suggesting posts you do not like, Facebook also extends the context function for news feed posts from accounts you do not follow. “Why do I see this?”