The Facebook Company which recently changed to Meta has announced it is now testing new ways for users to have more control while interacting with content on the News Feeds. The company disclosed this in a blog post, saying that the test is only available to a “small percentage” of users for now. The outcome of the new adjustment Meta is making is to allow people to adjust their preferences either to increase or reduce the amount of content they are exposed to from specific friends, family, groups or pages they’re connected with on the social platform.
For years now Facebook has had a history with fixing the way the News Feed presents content and seems to reinvent what content should be prioritized over the other and why. In 2015, Facebook revealed it was changing News Feeds in favor of content from close friends over content from brands and publishers. In 2016, Facebook again revealed that it would tweak the algorithm so content from friends gets more priority over publishers. Then in 2018, the company disclosed it was changing the News Feed so content that sparks better engagement (which is Facebook’s core) stand more chances of appearing than one with passive content.
In the year 2020, changes were made to the News Feed yet again but this time to favor more reliable news sources. It rolled back that “nicer” version of the News Feed in December 2020 to the reported chagrin of some Facebook employees. How the social media giant continues to flex controls over the News Feed has been a huge mystery, but Facebook released a report in September which mentioned that the public would get some insights into how it decides what content it suppresses or demotes the other — like clickbait and content from those who repeatedly violate ground rules.
Facebook also has plans of making changes to news controls for its business customers, expanding the “topic exclusion” controls to a test group of advertisers that run ads in English. The advertisers have the ability to select from three topic groups — news and politics, social issues, and crime and tragedy— so that they can prevent their ads from appearing near posts about those topics they have selected.
For now, users in the new test are expected would have the ability to turn down the volume on friends, family, pages, and groups in their News Feeds as they wish. In the blog post, Meta says that this was “part of our ongoing work to give people more control over News Feed, so they see more of what they want and less of what they don’t.” Without further ado, we think this sounds great!