I've said before, Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship. There are a ton of things I love about Facebook, but one of my irritations is the cluttered news feed. I often feel like I miss posts from friends, yet see 20 updates from Target. And don't even get me started on my beef about how many people actually see my Facebook posts from this here blog! While there are many things I can't change, there are some simple steps I can take to see more of the posts I want to see (like ones from blogs!), and fewer of the ones I don't want to see (like those annoying complainers you haven't seen since middle school but accepted the friend request out of curiosity!). Here's three simple things you can do to organize your Facebook news feed.
1. Change the settings on friends. You can do this one of two ways, in your friends list, or as you go through your news feed. To change the settings from your list of friends, click friends on your profile page.
Your list of friends will appear, with a box next to each one with a checkmark and the word Friends. Hover over this box and a list will appear.
The first change you can make, is decide whether you want to see updates from this friend in your news feed at all. If there is a check mark next to Show In News Feed, then you will see updates from this person. You can uncheck this line and you will stop seeing any updates from this person in your news feed. If you decide you want to see updates, you can further refine this option by clicking on settings underneath Show in News Feed. From this list, you can select to see All Updates, Most Updates, or Only Important Updates.
If you don't want to take one chunk of time to go through all your friends on your list, you can do this as you go through your news feed, and slowly over time you will weed out the updates you don't want and retain the ones you do want. To do this through the news feed, simply hover over the name of the friend in their status update. A box will pop up, with a Friends box in the lower right corner.
Hover over the box with Friends in it. You can now do the same steps as above, by selecting Show in News Feed or not, and then adjusting Settings if you choose to have the updates show in your news feed.
2. Change the settings for pages you like. This is ideal for pages you have liked at one time or another and now don't want to see all the time. OR, it is perfect for pages (like the Structure in an Unstructured Life page!), that you don't see all the updates from, but would like to. Similar to what you did with friends, you can do this one of two ways. From your profile page, click More, then select Likes.
Click more again, and select Other Likes.
Hover over each icon on your list, and a menu will pop up. You once again have the option to select Show in News Feed, or to uncheck and have updates not appear in your news feed.
If you select to have updates show in your news feed, you can click on Settings and select All Updates, Most Updates, or Only Important Updates. Just like with friends, you can also do this from your news feed. When you see an update from a page you like (or one you don't!), you can hover over the name of the page, and a window will appear. There will be a Liked box in the lower right. Hover over Liked and you now have the Show in News Feed and Settings options.
A word about blog Facebook pages – unless you select to Show in News Feed and choose All Updates, Facebook picks and chooses what you see from these pages. They claim to have a formula that takes into account your interaction with the page, but I have found my number of followers Facebook selects to push a post into their news feeds to be rather random. If you really like a page, choose to see all updates to ensure you receive them.
3. Create Lists in Facebook. Facebook allows you to create lists within your friends, and also interest lists for pages you have liked. By doing this, you can click on the list and get a news feed of just those friends or pages. Kind of like a filter for your news feed. To put your friends into a list, such as Family, Close Friends, High School Friends, Work Friends, etc. you need to first create the list. Facebook has a few preset lists, such as family and close friends, but anything more detailed or specific you will want to create yourself. From your news feed screen, find Friends on the left column, and hover in that area. A More will appear. Click that and it takes you to a screen where you have the option to Create List. From there, click on Create List and choose a name for your list. You can add members at that time, or you can go add them later.
Next, assign friends to your lists by once again going to your friends list from your profile page. Hover over the Friends box, and below where you selected to Show in News Feed, is a section that lists Close Friends, Add to another list. Choose the list shown or pick Add to another list and select from the menu that appears.
You can do the same thing for pages, but these are called Interest Lists. In the left hand column of your news feed page, below apps, click More. Interests will appear. Hover in that area, and click More. You can add an Interest List the same way you added a Friend list. Then again, you can add pages you like the same way you added friends. For both friends and pages, you can also do this while going through your news feed. Simply hover over the name of the friend or page, then hover over Friends or Liked, and select the List or Interest List form the menu that appears.
What tips do you have for organizing your Facebook reading?
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