Facebook hands some news feed controls back to users


SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook unveiled a new tool Thursday giving users more control of what they see in their news feeds, allowing them to override the choices made by algorithm.

The tool allows Facebook members to select certain friends whose posts will appear at the top of their feeds.
It is a shift away from the approach recently used by Facebook which selects messages and articles by computer algorithm, based on a user’s browsing habits and other data.
“We know that ultimately you’re the only one who truly knows what is most meaningful to you and that is why we want to give you more ways to control what you see,” Facebook product manager Jacob Frantz said in a blog post.
“Last year we announced some new ways to control what you see in News Feed. Today we are announcing even better tools for you to actively shape and improve the experience.”
The new tool was being rolled out Thursday to Facebook users on Apple devices and it will be added soon for its Android application, Frantz said.
“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,” he said.
Users will be able to tap on friends and see their latest posts and scroll down to see the feed normally.
“You can come back at any time to update your choices,” he said.
While Facebook has said its algorithms select what users want to see, some have complained about the selection and order of their feeds.



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