Users often wind up scrolling past posts they care nothing about on Facebook. So now, the social network is further personalizing posts, by showing more stories that matter to users.
Facebook introduced a News Feed update on Thursday that gives users more control of what they see.
The redesigned News Feed Preference controls allows users to prioritize stories so they don't miss a post from a particular friend — like a family member, or Page — like their favorite TV show, that they care about. You can now select the users you want to see posts from at the top of your News Feed by tapping on their profile picture. That friend's last post will then appear at the top of the Feed, with a star in the top right corner. Keep scrolling down to see the rest of the News Feed as usual.
Facebook users will also be able to easily discover new friends and Pages to follow from the new Preferences. A list of top people, Pages and groups that have appeared in your News Feed over the past week will be displayed. Users can also choose to reconnect with people they had previously decided to unfollow.
A separate tab allows users to find new Pages that can help them connect with others who are in a business of interest. Facebook suggests Pages based on those the user has liked in the past.
The new controls launched July 9 on Facebook's mobile app for both iOS and Android. Mobile Facebook users can tap on More, located on the bottom right corner in the app, and they can find the News Feed Preferences under Settings.
The desktop version of the new controls will roll out in the near future.
The network previously used algorithms to rank stories in the order of interest to each user, based on the kinds of posts they like, comment, and share the most. This new feature will now allow users to have more control over the content they are exposed to.
In June, Facebook announced that it will start watching users watch videos so it can provide more of the same videos. The social network decided to track more information about video-watching habits since many users wind up watching a particular video and may want to see similar posts, even though they don't like, share or comment on it. The News Feed update allows for videos related to those users watch to be featured higher up in their feeds.
The social network also started tracking how long users look at posts. Similar to the videos, related posts will appear higher in News Feeds based on the kinds of content users spend time on.
Take a look at the new News Feed Preferences in the video below.