Facebook test offers more control over who you see in your News Feed

The experiment comes as Facebook has been criticized over feed algorithims.

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A woman holds a smartphone with Meta logo on it in front of a displayed Facebook logo in this illustration taken, October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Facebook might soon help you manage the overly chatty people in your social stream. The Meta brand is testing News Feed controls that let you raise or lower the volume of content you see from friends, groups, Pages and relevant topics. If a relative posts far too often while a favorite group hardly shows up at all, you can balance their appearances in your preferences.

Already available controls for favorites, reconnecting, snoozing and unfollowing should also be easier to find. Facebook's test is initially available to only a "small percentage" of users, but it should expand over the weeks ahead. The company is giving advertisers options to exclude their ads from broad topics like "News and Politics," "Crime and Tragedy" and "Debated Social Issues."

The timing is appropriate, although it might not satisfy critics. Whistleblower Frances Haugen and supporting politicians have blasted Facebook's algorithimic feeds for promoting engagement over healthy social media habits. Likewise, Meta just recently limited ad targeting for sensitive topics across its products. These latest moves put some of the power back in the hands of users and marketers, but don't offer as much control as some would like. 

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