Facebook is finally letting its users do something about friends who can be pretty annoying in the newsfeed, those who often share more than three posts each day, flooding the newsfeed with cat pictures, vacation videos, and all sorts of clickbait articles.
Facebook Announces New Snooze Button
The new "Snooze" button takes care of that. If users determine that a friend, page, or a group is too much of a nuisance, they can click on the drop-down menu beside one of their posts on the newsfeed and hit Snooze. They will be removed from the newsfeed for 30 days.
This is a less severe compromise than unfollowing a person altogether, and that's just fitting, as Facebook says many users want to be able to stop seeing posts from certain people, but not forever. This could also perhaps be a great way to test whether removing people from the newsfeed yields a much better user experience — at which point they can opt to unfollow the annoying people entirely.
Facebook Friends Annoying You? Snooze Them
"We've heard from people that they want more options to determine what they see in News Feed and when they see it," Facebook said in a blog post. "With Snooze, you don't have to unfollow or unfriend permanently, rather just stop seeing someone's posts for a short period of time."
The new Snooze button is the latest addition to presently existing controls on Facebook, Unfollow and Hide, which lets users permanently erase certain groups, pages, or friends from the newsfeed without unfriending them altogether. Snooze is a more benign method of shooing away people, but then again, users who find that they're frequently snoozing certain people on Facebook should probably just unfollow or unfriend them entirely.
Facebook had been testing the Snooze feature since September, but now it should be available to all users.
The feature comes at a time of increased public criticism and discourse on Facebook's effect on society. In recent weeks, two former company executives have expressed concern about Facebook usage, arguing that social media may be negatively affecting people's brains. Of the former executives, Chamath Palihapitiya, even went as far as to say social media is destroying society.
"People need to hard break from some of these tools," he said. "The short-term dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works."
In response, Facebook said it's become a socially conscious company in recent years, yet researchers at the company admitted that they too were contemplating on the ill-effects of social media.
"We want Facebook to be a place for meaningful interactions with your friends and family — enhancing your relationships offline, not detracting from them," said Facebook in a blog post Friday, Dec. 15. "After all, that's what Facebook has always been about. This is important as we know that a person's health and happiness relies heavily on the strength of their relationships."