There might have been times in our lives when we were casually browsing through our feed and suddenly you notice a topic that you had desired to approach in your mind being presented to you. Many have often wondered how social media platforms have been capable of providing us with our exact requirements. The answer to that is simple. All social platforms have an algorithm that tabulates and collects the data that we input into the system and creates a pattern in which they guess topics that we might be interested in.
This has been the case for several years and this system has received high criticism for its role in promoting harmful content and spreading misinformation. In an age when people’s attitudes and behavior are governed by social norms, the feeds that the algorithm generates for us have been at times been called “manipulative”.
When all social platforms have been scrutinized on this aspect, Facebook stepping up and providing people with an option is a huge gamechanger. They announced on Wednesday that they were remodelling their new user feeds to provide people with more control over what they see on their Facebook feeds. Users can now choose or prioritize what they require. They also have the option to partially or completely disable the algorithm which will help them see more posts and content from friends and contacts.
The aim of this News Feed is to help re-establish your connection with your family, friends, the important people in your life, and the world around you.
Another interesting feature of this is, the ability to control who can comment or react to your public post. Tapping on the menu button provides us with a list of features among which is ‘who can comment on your post’. Upon selecting this option we can choose who can comment on the post with options like; anyone who can see the post, only friend or profiles and pages you tag.
By controlling the commenting audience we can choose whom to interact or hold a conversation with and at the same time avoid unnecessary interactions. This feature helps us focus more on our interests and priorities.
‘Favourites’ is another new tool where you can control and prioritize posts from the friends and Pages you are most interested in. You can select up to 30 friends and Pages to include in Favorites, their posts will appear higher in ranked News Feed and can also be viewed as a separate filter.
Other features include ‘Snooze’, a tool that helps you temporarily hide posts from a person or group, and ‘Most recent’, a tool that helps you easily switch between algorithmically gathered feeds and selected feeds.
Providing the users with the freedom to choose their feeds is definitely praiseworthy and is assured to enhance the trust between Facebook and its users.