More and more, people are using Facebook as a news source. Collectively, we spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. But Facebook tweaks the system often. Sometimes, a change is a temporary; other times, it’s more permanent. It’s hard to know how important a change is—or in certain cases, even that a change has take place—unless you’re paying a lot of attention.
One of the most significant changes in the past year has been in the filtering of what appears in your personal news feed. Thomas E. Weber of the Daily Beast posted a great explanation of his effort to get to the bottom of how it works. The story was reported a while ago now, and there seem to have been changes made since, but I think the logic still applies. The crux of the issue is that what appears in your news feed is a function of your past Facebook activity. Because the algorithm that determines what appears is secret—read Facebook’s explanation of it here—it’s difficult to know why you’re seeing what you’re seeing.
There is, however, a way to change the filter. If you suspect that you are not seeing every post your friends make in your news feed (and you want to), scroll all the way down to the bottom of your news feed. You should see an Edit Options link on the right side of a light blue box. When you click on it, a box pops up. There, you can change the news feed settings to show posts from everyone, rather than friends and pages you interact with most. In that same box, you can choose friends that you’d rather not hear from. So you can have it both ways. Sort of.
I’d like to hear from you. Did you have an issue with this? Did this explanation help you out in any way? Send me your burning Facebook questions, and I’ll see what I can do to get an answer.