- Facebook is making major changes to how its News Feed works.
- The company said it is making News Feed controls much more prominent in an upcoming update.
- Users will also be able to limit who comments on their posts for the first time ever.
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Facebook's making major changes to its core functionality: the News Feed timeline all users see when they sign on.
Users will be able to quickly switch between different categorizations of their feed, from an algorithmically-driven one to one arranged solely by chronological order to one chosen by the users through a new "favorites" tool.
Facebook's vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, explained the new tools to The Verge in an interview.
"We're now going to have a feed filter bar. When you scroll to the top of your feed, it'll be there," he said. "It'll always be there, and you can toggle between the feed as it currently exists, to have it chronologically ordered, or crucially, and this is new, so that you can create your own new feed of favorites - of favorite groups, friends, posts, and so on. And you'll be able to curate that, if you like, for yourself and toggle between those three."
For Facebook users, this change offers a way to essentially ditch or dial back Facebook's oft-criticized algorithm-based News Feed in favor of alternatives.
Beyond the change to News Feed, Facebook is also enabling users to limit interactions on their own content. You'll be able to choose "with much greater granularity than before" who is able to interact with your Facebook posts.
These are far from the first changes Facebook has made amid ongoing criticism.
It has de-emphasized posts from brands and news organizations, attached content warnings, and added "Why am I see this?" buttons to a variety of content. Facebook executives have repeatedly vowed to address criticisms of the social network, from moderation issues to radicalization driven by the company's suggestion algorithms.
It's unclear when the latest changes will roll out for every user.
"I'm not going to pretend that those changes in and of themselves will lift all the questions that people have about how social media operates and how they interact with Facebook," Clegg said. "But I do feel that they are significant steps in a better direction."
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