Facebook is giving you more control over what you see in your news feed.
The social network is introducing a number of changes Thursday to help you prioritise certain people you care about and easily reconnect with friends you might have unfollowed in the past.
By starring individual people and pages, you’ll never miss one of their posts again.
Facebook already has a bunch of fancy algorithms in place to help make the news feed more relevant to you. For example, it watches how long you interact with posts — whether you scroll past or linger — and uses that information to show you similar posts.
So why add more manual controls for customising the news feed now?
In surveys, Facebook discovered that its users were experiencing FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” Facebook news feed product manager Adam Mosseri told Business Insider.
If you’re a parent, you probably want to see everything your son or daughter posts. But there hasn’t been a way to ensure that you won’t miss a stray photo or status update in the news feed outside of making a list of specific friends. Now you can tweak your settings so you never miss something from the people and pages you care about the most.
“This is the first time we’ve created a deterministic way for people to put their friends at the top of news feed,” Mosseri said. “The whole point is to connect people with stories that people find meaningful.”
In an update rolling out to the main Facebook iPhone app, you can chose to star certain people and pages you like. Their posts will always appear at the top of the news feed no matter what.
Last year, Facebook started giving the ability to unfollow certain people without unfriending them. It’s a good way to not see someone’s posts without cutting ties completely. But there hasn’t been a good way to re-connect with people you’ve unfollowed, until now.
These new features, along with a new list of pages to like based on the ones you already follow, are all tucked away under the “More” tab of the Facebook iPhone app. Android and support for the web version of Facebook is coming soon.
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