Facebook launched its news filter bar option which makes it easier to restrict comments.
After testing the option out for more than a year, Facebook has today officially launched its new News Feed Filter Bar option, which makes it easier for users to switch between the regular News Feed, ranked by Facebook’s notorious algorithm, and either a ‘Favorites’ or ‘Recent’ listing of posts, the latter being kind of like a reverse-chronological feed.
And with these optional Feed listings, you can now view your Favorites listing as a separate, individual feed, which will give users more control over their Facebook experience.
You can see in this example the three alternate feed options at the top of your News Feed:
- Home – Being your regular Facebook News Feed, ranked by the algorithm
- Favorites – The separate listing of your hand-picked people and Pages
- Recent – Which is theoretically an option to see all of your posts in reverse chronological order – the much-requested return to the algorithm-free Facebook feed.
Tap on the control icon to the right of these options and you’ll be shown this pop-up of additional controls.
So it’s the same, options, but you can also access your News Feed preferences, which offers more controls over your feed.
Again, kind of.
The thing is, none of these controls is technically new. As noted, Favorites has been around since last October, and you’ve long been able to choose ‘see first’ on people and pages for your feed, which is really the same thing. And while it seems like an easy way to switch to a reverse-chronological feed, the ‘Recent’ listing is still defined by the algorithm, it’s just that rather than seeing the posts Facebook has chosen for you, in the order that it decides, you can list them by upload date.
As explained by Facebook:
“By adjusting your commenting audience, you can further control how you want to invite conversation onto your public posts and limit potentially unwanted interactions. And if you’re a public figure, creator or brand, you too can choose to limit your commenting audience on your public posts to help you feel safe and engage in more meaningful conversations with your community.”
Essentially, these tools don’t provide a lot of new functionality, but they do seem to provide more, which again, seems to be the main purpose. By giving users more options to manage their interactions, it puts a further onus on the users themselves to manage their experience, which appears to be Facebook’s main push. “It’s not us, it’s you, we’re giving you the tools to stop yourself being indoctrinated or radicalized”. It’s then up to users how they apply them.
The new Feed Filter bar is now available on Android, with the option rolling out on iOS in the coming weeks.