Facebook has planned to introduce a handful of new features that will allow its users to have greater control over their News Feed. For instance, it will include an easier way to turn off the algorithmic ranking in their feed and display content as it was posted.
These changes build on the functionality of previous tweaks to the News Feed. Last October, the tech giant also introduced a “Favorites tool” allowing users to select nearly 30 friends. This tool helped prioritize their content or they can choose to display it in a separate feed.
Previously, the company has also offered its users an option to sort through their feeds by “most recent.” However, these options have been buried in obscure menus.
Now, the giant is putting “Favorites” and “Recent” filters right at the top of the News Feed as separate tabs that users can switch between. This will make them much more prominent.
Today, this filter is launching globally on Facebook’s Android app and will be available soon on iOS.
But the filter bar isn’t a permanent addition as the feature will disappear if users don’t access the Favorites tool for seven days. If they still want to use it: they have to find their favorites through the preferences menu. The “Most recent” tab also works similarly and disappears if not accessed regularly.
Additionally, Facebook is also introducing a new tool that allows users to limit who can comment on their posts and expand the content covered with its “Why am I seeing this?” feature.
Even though these changes are relatively minor, however, they are aimed towards giving people more control over opaque algorithms. With these changes, the largest social network is trying to deflect criticism by its algorithmic systems.
Previously, criticisms about its algorithms have been levied against the site, but in recent months have become increasingly sharp. With this in mind, it’s sensible for the company to give users the ability to opt-out of the algorithm.