Facebook wants to hand over control of your news feed–or at least the illusion of control. In an update announced Thursday, the social media giant revealed that mobile users will now be able to curate and personalize their news feeds by selecting the friends and pages whose posts will appear up top.
“To help prioritize stories, and make sure you don’t miss posts from particular friends and Pages, you can now select which friends and Pages you would like to see at the top of your News Feed,” the company wrote in a blog post. “You will then see any new stories they’ve shared since your last visit to Facebook at the top of News Feed, with a star in the top right of their post so you know why they’re at the top. You can scroll down to see the rest of your News Feed normally.”
As product director Adam Mosseri told the New York Times, your friends and pages are already ranked in the preferences section based on how often you like and comment on their posts. But let’s say you don’t want to miss a post from a friend whom you rarely interact with on Facebook. This feature will allow you to manually prioritize that person.
Facebook is also rolling out other tools, including an Instagram-style discover tab that recommends pages you might like. Facebook also redesigned the tools that let you unfollow people clogging your news feed and follow those you may have already banished from your feed.
The social network appears to be ceding more and more control of the news feed to users, likely in response to criticisms of the dynamic algorithm that by and large determines what they see. Last November, Facebook rolled out news feed settings that allowed its user base to unfollow pages and friends (similar to the tool presented in the latest update), and to cut back on the number of stories by frequent posters in their feed.
The new update goes live today on iOS, and will come to Android and desktop in the next few weeks.
[via the New York Times]