Most Facebook users focus their time on their News Feed.
The concept is brilliant—bring everything about anybody I’m interested in into one stream of information that I can easily scroll through to read up on the latest news.
In reality, Facebook’s algorithms for determining the people and topics that Facebook has ascertained are important to me, is less than perfect.
This “lack of perfection” has been frustrating me lately for a number of reasons including (but not limited to):
- I’ve noticed that posts I make on behalf of Eclectic Verve, accordingly to Facebook’s own analytics, are only seen by about 1/3 of the people who have “Liked” the Eclectic Verve Page.
- Posts made by some of my Facebook friends don’t show up in my News Feed until others start “liking” or commenting on these friends’ posts.
- Comments added to old posts, will sometimes flag the old post for “Most Recent” status.
Although it frustrates me that Facebook doesn’t just show everything posted by a friend in the chronological order that it is posted, I have learned a few tricks to try to use their Algorithms to my advantage.
First, it’s important to understand Facebook’s definitions of the “Sort” options at the top of your News Feed.
- Select Most Recent to see stories in the order they were posted. This seems straight forward, but lately it seems that sometimes a post from hours or days ago will be flagged as “Most Recent” if a new comment is added to the post. Thus the status update may keep floating to the top of your News Feed. (Note: This seems to be happening inconsistently in my experience.)
- Select Top Stories to see the most interesting stories (as determined by Facebook). To define what Facebook finds most interesting, I consulted Facebook Help on this topic:
So now that Facebook has defined the two sort methods available, how do you ensure you see everything you want to see, and see fewer posts of which you don’t have an interest?
- Filter: In addition to sorting, you can also filter by creating and maintaining “Friend” lists by categories such as family, close friends, etc. on the left side of your home page. Once you assign Friends to a list, you can then click on that list to see status updates only from the people who comprise that list.
- Manage Updates: When a friend posts a status update, you can make changes that will affect the information you see from that person in the future by clicking on the down arrow to the right of their status update.
- If you don’t like the type of story posted, you can “Hide story”.
- For each friend you can turn off all of their updates by unsubscribing.
- You can also indicate if you wish to see “All Updates”, “Most Updates” or “Only Important” updates. (Facebook will default all of your friends to “Most Updates”.)
For definitions of the 3 categories, I consulted Facebook Help again, but was unable to find definitions. However, I noticed that by changing one of my friends from “Most” to “Only Important” I effectively unsubscribed from all of their posts. Therefore, unless someone is really annoying you and you truly don’t want to see anything that he/she posts, I recommend you leave it at “Most” or “All”.
- You can also go to a specific friend’s page to indicate what types of updates you want to see. Click on the “Friends” button under their cover photo, then click “Settings” and you’ll get the additional options you see below. You can deselect the topics that aren’t of interest to you to stream-line the status updates you receive from this person.
I hope today’s blog has helped you to begin to refine what you see in your News Feed. There’s a lot more that you can do if you spend a lot of time categorizing your friends into lists, but that’s for another blog, another day.
Enjoy reading those status updates.