Making Science

Facebook updates news feed to provide more control and context to users

Tyrone Stewart


Facebook has made updates to its in order to give users more control over the things that they share and see on the social network.

Now, users can control who can comment on each of their public posts by choosing from a menu with options including ‘Public’, ‘Friends’, and ‘Profiles and Pages you mention’. This means that users can limit potentially unwanted interactions on their public posts – a feature that has proved popular with many on platforms like Twitter.

Facebook has also added a new menu at the top of the news feed called the ‘Feed Filter Bar’, providing a further update to the ‘Favourites’ tool the platform launched in October. With Favourites, users can control and prioritise posts from friends and pages they care about the most, so that content from these sources appears higher up in their news feeds.

The Feed Filter Bar – available to those who use Favourites frequently – builds on Favourites by providing easier access to ‘Most Recent’, enabling users to switch between the default algorithmically-ranked news feed and a feed sorted chronologically with the newest posts first. Currently, only Android app users can access the Feed Filter Bar, but it will roll out to iOS in the ‘coming weeks’.

‘Most Recent’ and ‘Favourites’ will still remain in the shortcuts menu.

Finally, Facebook is providing more transparency on why it suggests certain posts to users.

The expansion of ‘Why am I seeing this?’ will enable users to gain more context on why they’re seeing any post that’s on their news feed. Facebook users factors such as related engagement, related topics, and location to decide which posts to suggest to people, and now users will have more of an idea why.