I normally do not write Facebook Tips for a couple of reasons. One is that Facebook changes features and settings almost continuously so what I say today may not work at all on Facebook tomorrow. Another reason is that I am no expert on Facebook, just a normal user, so I don’t have much to add to the conversation. But, lately, there seems to be a lot of incorrect information floating around about how to keep your news feed up to date with information you want to see while preventing some of the more often negative tones or perhaps we would say less desirable moods prevail in your News Feeds.
First, let’s look at what the News Feed is actually letting us see. Basically it is what Facebook machines believe is most important to you. The machine decides by “guessing” at what you want to see next using a combination of what you “like”, what you view, where you are, your age and other information Facebook has collected about you. You can adjust these settings and tell it what you really want to see or more importantly what you do “not” want to see.
Go to Facebook and hover over the name of one of your friends in the feed. A “pop up” will show you their picture, some general information, and 2 buttons in the lower right corner of the pop up: A “Friends” button and a “Message” button.
Now hover or click on the “Friends” button inside that pop up to get some options. If you uncheck the “Show in News Feed” it will no longer show updates from that user in your News Feed area. Here is where I want to make note that these settings only apply to the “News Feed” area (where you start in Facebook). If you click on any of the groups on the left, this does not apply, you will see the friend in that area. The object of the News Feed area is to bring into immediate view your most wanted friends updates.
On this same pop up options area you can also click “Close Friend” to add it to your Close Friends list or one of the other Groups to add to that Group List. You can suggest friends to that person or unfriend. If you unfriend them, you will not longer be connected and will not get direct updates or information from their status updates at all. If you have friends in common you may still see comments from that person on other status updates.
Now let’s look at a more precious way to narrow down what you see from some of your friends. Let’s say for example you have someone on your list that is always updating with photos that you really do not want to see, for whatever reason. But maybe they do status updates and comments that you do not mind seeing. Hover over the person or go to their page by clicking on them. Hover over or click the Friends button. Then click “Settings”.
You will notice the top of the options list here lets you pickup a level of updates: All Updates, Most Updates and Only Important updates. Facebook default is Most Updates. Which means it sends most of their updates to your News Feed. You can move a person up or down in that list (kind of like a ranking system for that person). Or at the bottom you will notice update “types”.
You can uncheck the updates that you do not want to see from that person on your News Feed. In our example we do not want to see the pictures in our news feed so we uncheck the Photos. If you are not a Games person you might want to uncheck the Games updates. Remember this only applies to your News Feed. If you go to that person page or a group that you have that person in, you will see the pictures and everything else.
Now let’s say you have a friend on your list that has posted something that you just do not want to see any more, for whatever reason. You do not want to change the friend setting maybe, you just do not want to see that one post. If you hover over the post area you will notice that a down area appears in the upper right corner of the block. In this area you can select to either “Follow Post”, “Hide” or Report it as Spam. Most likely in this case you would want to “Hide” the status update. You will no longer see the updates for that status block.
The hide option will hide it only from you in your News Feed and your Group Lists. If you go to the persons Facebook Page you will see the status update on their page. The hide option does not hide it from anyone else.
There are tons of other options available and this only scratches the surface, but using this options/settings area you can control what you see in your News Feed and streamline what news you get from your friends.