Sorry, crazy uncles – Facebook’s news feed changes made you less relevant

By Scott Swanson

Oh, Facebook. Such a wonderful tool for so many reasons – keeping up with old friends, venting to a captive audience, and even playing a small role in major world events.

But let’s be real – Facebook can be a pretty infuriating place, too. For whatever reason – political beliefs, passive-aggressiveness, over-sharing – we all have a few friends we’ve gotten to know a little too well online.

Good news! Facebook recently announced that it’s giving users more control over what they see in their news feeds. This new setting will allow you to prioritize the friends and pages that share quality content, while de-prioritizing your crazy uncle who thinks the moon landing was faked.

If you have an IOS device (an iPhone or an iPad, basically), you can go in and make the changes right now (Android and desktop users will allegedly be getting access to the increased preferences soon). Here’s how:

1.) Open up the Facebook app on your iPhone or iPad, and click the “More” icon on the bottom navigation.


2.) Click “News Feed Preferences”


3.) Click “Prioritize who to see first”


You’ll be presented with a list of all your friends and the pages you follow. Take a few minutes to scroll through them (there may be a lot!). I chose about 10 friends and 10 pages to push to the top of my newsfeed, but there’s no limit to how many you can select.

(On that note – if you’re an admin for a brand’s Facebook page, it may be worth communicating this change to your audience. Having your content appearing in more news feeds could make a big difference, considering the average organic reach is only 5-11 percent of a page’s total audience.)

The new news feed preferences offer a few more options too – now you can more easily unfollow people (essentially hiding their posts without unfriending them), reconnect with people you’ve already unfollowed, and discover new pages, based on the pages you’ve already liked.

Facebook algorithm changes often come with plenty of groans from the peanut gallery, but this is a definite step in the right direction for the social media giant.