Facebook is introducing new methods to clean out the news feed without having to go through the many processes that are required to create a customization on the content users see. It has been referred to as Mark Zuckerberg’s end goal of creating a personalized newspaper that everyone in the world can enjoy, without a subscription.
The company is adding a News Feed settings page that will appear on the web, as well as on their mobile apps for both iOS and Android. The settings will give the user the ability not only to regulate whom they see, but also give them the chance to decide what type of content they see.
The settings page will come from the drop down menu that is embedded in the current layout, where the gray check mark is available for users to click if they do not want to see particular posts by select friends, pages, or groups. Additionally, they will be able to unfollow the individual entirely, without losing them as a friend, which is an important feature that the social network needed to develop and work with.
Ultimately, the settings page goes into attacking the ranking system, and algorithms that have previously dominated the way content is seen on Facebook. Essentially, the site would slowly learn the user’s behaviors, and decide what pieces of information were most important, and then show the content that was most likely, going to be the most important to the individual.
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Now, this puts more control in the user’s hands. Earlier in the year, Facebook began cracking down on links that were considered “click bait,” and prevented them from getting ranked so high in the News Feed. This though, should be the most promising piece of information that users have received lately regarding the Facebook News Feed, which has received plenty of criticism over the last several years for becoming stale, and littered with content that was both old, and forced up by gaining a lot of likes, instead of actual interest in those subjects.
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The company went on to point out that the average user could see as many as 1,500 stories on any given day, but due to the process and algorithms, that number was significantly reduced to roughly 150 stories per day. This is a change that is important to users, and something that could greatly impact the future of the social network.