In the past few years, Facebook has adjusted the presentation of News Feeds several times, and seems to have been reflecting on which content should be prioritized and why.
In 2015, it said it was changing News Feeds to favor content from close friends rather than content from brands and publishers. In 2016, Facebook again stated that it would adjust its algorithm to make friends’ posts take precedence over publishers’ posts. Then in 2018, the company said it was changing News Feeds so that posts that might trigger “back and forth discussions” would be more likely to appear than more passive content.
In 2020, Facebook adjusted its News Feed again, this time to support more trusted and quality news sources. However, it withdrew the “pretty” version of the News Feed in December 2020, which is said to annoy some Facebook employees.
How the social media giant controls News Feed is largely a mystery, but Facebook released a report in September saying it will let the public know how it decides which content is suppressed, or “downgraded” – such as clicking on ads and those Posts that repeatedly violate its rules.
But now, users participating in the new test will be able to turn down the volume of friends, family, pages, and groups in their News Feed if they wish. Meta said in the blog post that this is “part of our ongoing work to give people more control over the News Feed so they can see more of what they want and reduce what they don’t want.”