The Verge is reporting that Facebook has introduced a handful of new features. This is great for users who want their Facebook timeline in chronological order. Users will be able to turn off the feed’s algorithmic ranking, which will help keep the timeline in order when something is posted.
There have been previous tweaks to the News Feed, and these new ones build on those tweaks. Facebook introduced the “Favorites” tool in October last year to allow selecting up to thirty friends and pages. After selecting users can prioritize their content or display it separate feed.
In addition, users can also sort their feeds by “most recent”. However, the features to do these are buried deep under layers of menus. Thankfully Facebook is now making it easier to find these features. The company will now show the “Favorites” and “Recent” filters at the top of the News Feed.
They will be displayed as separate tabs giving users the ability to easily switch back and forth between them.
Android users around the globe will start seeing this new filter bar today in the app. iOS users will have to wait for “the coming weeks” before seeing the updated filter bar. As for web users, there is no word on if it will be available outside of the app.
Of course, it isn’t as easy as Facebook just giving users new features. Instead, there is a rather peculiar caveat. If users do not use the Favorites tool for seven days then it will disappear. This is one of those times when a tech company does something that is truly head-scratching.
The new feature helps you put your Facebook timeline in chronological order. But with an odd caveat.
If the Favorites tool disappears users can still access their favorites. But they will have to go through the preferences menu for the News Feed, and then the bar will return. The same goes for the “most recent” tab as well. Again, this is truly head-scratching.
However, there is more being introduced as well. The new tool will let users limit who can comment on their posts which can be a good thing. In addition, it will expand the content covered by its “Why am I seeing this?” feature.
The “Why am I seeing this?” tool was introduced last April. It gives users the chance to see why Facebook’s algorithm is showing them that recommended content.
These explanations will now cover suggested posts from pages or people that users do not follow. The tool also explains why and how posts’ related topics, interactions, and location led to them being suggested.
These changes are minor, but they are quality of life improvements that will help users control Facebook’s confusing algorithm. Facebook may be trying to defend its algorithm by giving users more control.
This makes sense. Facebook has faced a lot of criticism for the algorithm amplifying misinformation and other unsavory content.
Facebook seems to be moving the News Feed in a new positive direction. But, it gives users an odd limitation. If a user takes a week-long break from Facebook the new features will disappear.
Users can get them back, but if Facebook does not explain this clearly it could be a problem. Imagine taking a week-long social media break to come back and notice that you are missing features. That could be super annoying.