HOW TO TAME YOUR FACEBOOK NEWS FEED

Facebook changes all the time, it’s worth double checking your settings.

Facebook is a virtual hub of information – you can join groups, like pages and support businesses and people that you like.  You can peruse your friends and see what they are doing.  You can ask questions and get answers and help when you need it.  It can be a great place to be.

Facebook is a progressive company, and they are trendsetters – so they are not just trying to keep up with new things, they are the makers of new things.  There seems to be a shift of Facebook “power” going on from time to time.   Sometimes Facebook will make small changes that we don’t even notice, and sometimes they will make large changes that make people hunt around for a certain feature – for example changing the location of the “search” button in groups, that one was a biggie and stumped and frustrated quite a few people.

Apparently, the changes are supposed to clean up your notifications and news feed.  I am not sure that I needed it cleaned up, but there it is.   I belong to a lot of groups, run a few of my own, and manage just fine, thank you Facebook.  I am generally pretty organized and if I have joined a group, that is because I am interested in the group and would like to see posts so I can participate.  So why bother to clean up my newsfeed by force?  Ok, well no one exactly forced me, but it wasn’t exactly my idea either, right? Maybe I like a messy newsfeed!

Like everything with Facebook, it is going to take some work to figure out.  I get notified that someone has posted in a group for some groups (not necessary to send me a notification of every time someone posts in groups, I only use that for the groups that I am an admin or groups that I don’t want to miss anything), I have apparently unfollowed a few friends and also I see tons and tons of ads!!   I don’t mind a few ads here and there, but geez, really Facebook??

So I did some research to figure out how to get more actual information or group activity into my newsfeed.  Here are a few things to try.

First thing is to go to your best groups and make sure that your NOTIFICATIONS are ON.    The notifications settings are a tab right underneath the title of the group.  Make sure notifications are on, but also make sure that you change the options for notifications – you have some options here that you may not be aware of:

I have mine set to all posts, so I get notification of every single post in OML Embroidery because I don’t want to miss anything!  The next option is Highlights – which means a periodic summary of the posts in the group – kind of a catch up at the end of the day.  You can also choose to be notified  when your friends post only (does anyone actually use that option?  seems too limiting to me?) and you can turn notifications OFF, which means you will have to click on the group and read the posts in the group to get caught up, because you won’t be getting any notifications.  My vote is ALL for your favorite groups.

The next thing to look at is your NEWS FEED PREFERENCES.  Whew, there are a lot of things you can change here!

so many choices…

There are some big lists here…but the main one is that you can prioritize what you see first.  This feature applies to friends and pages, so you can customize what you see in your news feed.  So the first option is that you and prioritize what posts you see first.  If you want to see posts from your friends first, then you can select them from this list, remembering that this list can be long.  Apparently, once you pick what you want to see first, it will show up in your newsfeed first, and the rest will show up later down the line, if at all.  I am not really sure how it works, I don’t have any priorities on so I can see how Facebook with then controls my newsfeed.

The next option is to unfollow people.  That option was always there, but now you have it on a nice long list.  If you want to stay friends with someone or still like a page, but you don’t want to see anything from them, this is the option.   So if you have a friend that you like, but they post multiple times a day and you find this annoying, you can unfollow that friend – you are still friends with them, but you don’t have to have all of their posts clogging up your newsfeed.  No, that good friend of yours will not get a notification that you unfollowed them – same with a page.  If you want to like a page to show your support, but you are not really interested in their posts, then unfollow the page and check in on it when you feel like it.

Reconnect with people that you unfollow is the next option.  Well, I am not sure why making a list of this is a good thing, but if you unfollow people and want to follow them again, here is a list to make that happen.

The last option is to discover pages that match your interests, which might be kind of handy, I guess.  It’s not like every group or page you click on gives you suggestions for other pages or anything like that.  Or it’s not like the right side banner on facebook is full of pages or groups that are your interests, and has ads and suggestions for you there.  Let’s not even mention the ads that are geared towards your interests, right?  After all those suggestions, if you need to find more, you can go to this list and get more.

The last thing you can do to tame Facebook is to open up your Ad Preferences.  Yep, you can do that!  First, you need to go into your settings.  It took me a bit to figure it out though, they don’t actually label it “ad preferences”  it is simply called “ads”.  I assumed that you would click on this part if you were creating ads or had created ads on Facebook.  Not so, it is how you change your ad preferences.  A bit tricky there!

Once you click on that, you have tons of things you can adjust – I had no idea that I could make changes for ads that I see in my newsfeed.

As you can see from this list, you can change quite a bit!  You can change your interests – there are so many to pick from there, it might help narrow down the ads so you only see embroidery stuff :), of course, embroidery being the most important, right?   You can see what advertisers that you have interacted with, and you can also change what information the advertisers can see from you –  this is information that matches the demographics of the ad that they are putting out – so if they are selling something to single people, the algorithm is going to pick up on that from your profile.  I did some more reading, and they are NOT sharing anything personal from your profile, just basic information.  You can turn this on or off, but I left mine on so I don’t get a whole ton of ads that have nothing to do with me.  Well, you will anyway, LOL but at least I won’t be getting ads for single 20-year-olds!  Ha Ha!

The next part “ad Settings” seems quite important to me, and I would suggest checking this one out.  The ad settings are broken down into a few other categories:

You can decide which ones work best for you – these are not my settings, I was playing around with them a little bit.  Ads based on your use of websites and apps seems a bit “cookie intense” to me.  They use cookies or tracking cookies to find out what websites you are on.  I doubt that it is an invasion of privacy there, but maybe Facebook ads don’t need to know everything I do?  I am not that worried though, so I will probably leave that one on.  The rest of the options are self-explanatory, and will hopefully give you more appropriate ads in your newsfeed.

Like it or not, these are the changes that Facebook has thrown at us.  Lots of ads…lots and lots of ads.

The best I can say is make sure you see what you want to see other than ads.  Make a few changes to the groups you belong to, follow or unfollow pages and friends to allow more room for what you want to see, and tweak your ad settings for Facebook.

Until next time,

STITCH YOU LATER!

SUE BROWN


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