How to make your Facebook news feed relevant to you
According to Facebook’s news room, more than 1 billion users are actively trawling through the social media platform’s news feeds every day. Increasingly, Facebook is becoming a primary source of news for users around the world. In this article we’ll share some tips to help you set up your Facebook newsfeed so that it isn’t full of guff that keeps you scrolling.
How your Facebook news feed works if you haven’t taken control
Keeping it really simple, if you don’t take control of your Facebook news feed or notification settings, Facebook will happily decide what you’ll see and what you won’t see based on how you use Facebook. Unless you’ve taken control of your notification and news feed settings, you’ll see more of what Facebook wants you to see – its paid advertisers and major media outlets, first.
You may have heard the term ‘algorithms’. Depending on how you use Facebook, you are profiled according to the data that Facebook collects based on your online behaviour. Your online behaviour is determined by what you stop and read or interact with on Facebook.
Based on this data, Facebook algorithms are then applied to your news feed based on:
Your Facebook behaviour: that is, how often and what time of day you scroll through Facebook and what you tend to interact or engage with. In social media terms, to engage means to either click on and read further, or ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’.
Which Facebook media posts and stories you interact with regularly: for example, if you tend to respond to human interest stories and sports news more than politics and finance, you’ll be shown more human interest stories. If you tend toward the left in political news articles, you’ll be fed more stories that are relevant to left politics; and vice versa.
Which Facebook business or community pages interact with regularly: for example, if you enjoy what we bring to you at RCA Villages, and regularly read our articles, you’ll find more RCA Villages Facebook posts show up in your news feed. If you enjoy seeing posts from a particular business or organisation but you never actually click on a post, or ‘Like’ or comment, you won’t see their posts appearing regularly in your news feed.
Which of your Facebook friends you interact more regularly with: the more your Facebook friends post, the more likely you are to see their posts on your news feed, once you work through the above. If a Facebook friends’ post has generated a lot of engagement (that is ‘Likes’ or comments), their post may make its way further up your feedback – up there with the media outlets you follow!
Roughly speaking if you do nothing, here is what your Facebook news feed will look like in order of what will appear first:
Latest news from media pages that you ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ on Facebook
Posts from Facebook business or community pages that you ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ on Facebook
Your friends’ Facebook posts.
How to take control of your Facebook news feed
Fortunately, you can take control of your Facebook news feed so that you see more of what you want to see.
Here are some tips on how to set up Facebook for your enjoyment.
Facebook news feed tip #1: Clean up your Facebook friends
The more Facebook friends you have collected, the less likely you are to notice an interesting post from one of your closest friends! Do a regular Facebook friends audit.
To do this, click on your own Facebook profile and go to your ‘Friends’ list. By hovering over each Friends photo, you’ll see a drop down list appear with the following options:
Get notifications: if you select this option, you can then choose to always see this friend’s Facebook posts as priority, and won’t miss out again.
Close friends: this option allows you to categorise your Facebook friends. If you select this option, you can group your close friends. This enables you to selectively post a status update to just to this group of friends.
Acquaintances: this option allows you to categorise your Facebook friends. If you select this option, you can group your acquaintances. This enables you to selectively post a status update to just to this group of friends.
Add to another list: this option allows you to create other categories for your Facebook friends. If you select this option, you can group your friends how you want to. This enables you to selectively post a status update to just include or exclude categories of friends. For example, I will often post to ‘Friends except acquaintances’ so that I’m not inundating work related friends with personal posts.
Suggest friends: by turning this on, Facebook will regularly throw you suggested lists of Facebook friends to add based on people you are already associated with on Facebook. I turn this one off. I know how to choose my own friends!
Unfriend: the great news here is that if you decide to ‘unfriend’ someone, they are none the wisers. They just won’t see any more of your posts, and you won’t see any more of theirs!
Facebook news feed tip #2: Edit your news feed preferences
If you really like the news and articles a business or organisation shares on Facebook, you can prioritise seeing their posts in your news feed.
The location of the option ‘News Feed’ will vary depending on the device or app that you are using. Look for an option that says ‘News Feed’ or ‘News Feed Preferences’. On my desktop, this option sits in Facebook’s left hand menu. On my analogue mobile Facebook app, an option named ‘News Feed Preferences’ sits in the top menu bar icon that is three horizontal lines.
You can choose to edit the following preferences:
Prioritise who to see first: by choosing this option you can then choose whose posts you never want to miss. Those posts will then appear at the top of your News Feed.
Unfollow people to hide their posts: here you can click to choose whose posts you want to stop seeing in your News Feed. Only you will know!
Reconnect with people you’ve unfollowed: this is self explanatory.
Discover pages that match your interests: if you select this option, Facebook will throw you some options based on what the data collected indicates you are interested in.
Facebook news feed tip #3: Turn on notifications and choose ‘See First’ in your news feed
You can turn on Facebook notifications for friends, businesses or organisations that you like by visiting their Facebook page and choosing ‘Like’. Once you’ve ‘Liked’ the page, you then need to search for an option under the ‘Liked’ drop down menu or the ‘Following’ drop down menu that states ‘In Your News Feed’ and ‘See First’. In this same menu, you can also choose to turn on notifications so you will be alerted to every new post.
Facebook news feed tip #4: Manually sort your News Feed by ‘Most Recent’
If you just want to see what your collective friends, media, businesses and organisations that you ‘Like’ and follow have posted most recently, you can simply sort your Facebook news feed each time.
Find the ‘News Feed’ option. On your desktop computer you should find this in the left hand Facebook menu. On your mobile Facebook app it is likely to be an option you can select from the top menu bar icon that shows three horizontal lines. You can then choose to see ‘Top Stories’ first – that is those stories right now that are attracting the most interest; or ‘Most Recent’.
In summary, you do have choices about how you use Facebook and what you see in your News Feed. As with any online platform, Facebook regularly updates and changes its menu preferences. So it is tricky to be instructional about the ‘how to’. We just wanted you to know that you do have options available to set up Facebook to work how you want it to.
Happy Facebook browsing!