Facebook News Feed: 4 Ways To Cut Clutter - InformationWeek

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Facebook News Feed: 4 Ways To Cut Clutter

Facebook now gives you more -- but not absolute -- control over the content in your news feed. Use our tips to ditch the noise.

constantly tweaking its news feed algorithm with hopes of it becoming "the perfect personalized newspaper for everyone in the world."

Your news feed contains more than 1,500 stories every day, according to the company, and Facebook's algorithm surfaces the 10% that it considers most relevant to you. These stories are highlighted under the default "Top Stories" view -- but you can change it to display your posts in a more chronological order.

To switch your view from Top Stories to Most Recent on a desktop, click the "Sort" option that appears at the very top of your News Feed -- below the status update box and above the first post. When you switch to "Most Recent," the top of your feed will read "Viewing most recent stories."

On mobile, tap the More option, then select "Most Recent" from the options under Favorites.

3. Use lists
Friend lists are an easy way to view posts from and share content with only the people you want. Facebook auto-manages some lists, including the people you work with, family members, and a list based on your location. You can find and edit all your lists by clicking the Friends subhead on the left-side navigation.

To create a list -- for a group of close friends or family, for example -- click the button at the top of the Lists main page. Assign the list a name, and type in the names of friends you want to add. Previously, Facebook let you choose your friends from a list; that visual made it easier to create your lists instead of relying on memory, though it appears to have done away with that option.

When you're done creating your friend lists, they will appear on the left-side navigation under the header "Friends." If you don't see this header, click the "More" tab on the bottom. When you click any of your friend lists, your news feed will show updates from only those friends you selected -- an easy way to cut through Facebook's clutter.

4. View content only from Pages
Your news feed displays content from pages you liked, your friends, and groups you joined. But if you follow many news outlets, for example, or subscribe to retail store pages just for exclusive offers, you may want to view these posts separately, without the updates from your friends.

Under the Pages heading in the left-side navigation is an option called "Pages Feed." Click this to view updates only from the Pages you've liked.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
11/10/2014 | 1:56:25 PM
How do I get to the "lists main page"
Not sure whether this isn't active for my account or I'm just not finding it, but I can't seem to find my way to that "manage lists" button you mentioned. I have a bunch of lists and try to categorize new contacts as I go, but I've never found a good way of editing / pruning those lists.

Would be great if FB would give us a really powerful / flexible tool for managing lists.

Google+ had a nice concept with the Circles editor, although as circles grew it became harder to work with. And then there's the fact that most people only go to G+ when they're trying to post something that will get the search engine's attention. I was enthused or a while but now have to force myself to go back periodically.
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/11/2014 | 9:23:07 AM
Re: How do I get to the "lists main page"
@Dave -- It's possible you have an updated (or outdated) version of this feature, but try this: Go to your Lists page by clicking More next to the Friends subhead from the menu on the left. This should load your list of Lists. Click one of them, which (should) load a feed of posts from those people on that list. At the top-right of the feed you might see the Manage List button, from which you can access the edit options. Hopefully that will work.
User Rank: Author
11/11/2014 | 11:55:49 AM
FB: What I want
Zuckerberg wants FB to be the perfect, personalized newspaper -- but that is not what I want from FB. I have plenty of other ways to get my world news. What I want is a more private, easy way to stay in touch with a group of people. I wonder what would happen if FB killed the ad model and told us all we had to pay $5 a month.
Shane M. O'Neill
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/11/2014 | 1:42:22 PM
Re: FB: What I want
Facebook evolves in different ways for different people. But personally, I use it mostly as a news service. The news feed combined with the Saved function allows me to pick and choose what stories I want to read (now or later). It's a good system. I still socialize on FB but that's not the priority anymore. A lot of that has moved to Instagram.  
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/30/2014 | 6:07:57 PM
Re: FB: What I want
Shane makes a good point -- it's evolved for me as well. I'm sharing less these days and saving more stories to read later. 
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