How to Hack Your Facebook Feed

I love me some Facebook. It’s a great way to stay connected with friends and all that. Yay Facebook. But one thing has always frustrated me to no end about it: the inability to have any sort of control over what pops up in my feed. Sure, there’s the option to just hide people altogether (always better than the nuclear option of unfriending them), but other than that, I’ve always been at the whim of the great blue F in the sky as to what I’d see when I logged on.

Thankfully, Facebook just introduced a way to tweak that. Not fix it completely yet, but at least make it much more manageable. I put it to the test last week, and I’ve been quite happy with it so far. And so I’m here to spread the gospel to you find people. You’ll thank me later.

It comes down to this: Facebook now lets you pick 20 friends or pages that you’d like to see first in your feed. First, a bit of background. I have over 600 friends on FB right now. FB typically chooses from among those friends’ posts and puts the ones it thinks will interest me the most onto my feed. The number one thing to do to hack your Facebook feed?

Unfollow people you don’t want to see on your feed.

It’s not personal. You’re not unfriending them. They can still see what you post. You can still head over to their page to see what they posted if you want to. But if you haven’t been unfollowing people on your feed, I guarantee you that there’s a ton of people popping up posting things you just don’t really care about. Think of it this way: if all 600+ of my FB friends followed me around all day, blurting out random facts about their lives? It would be way too chaotic.

So unfollow the ones who post too much stuff you don’t want to see, or who are too obnoxious, or who only post status updates about what their cat is eating.

Unfollowing is easy. When you see someone’s post on your feed that you want to unfollow, look at the top right corner of that post. There’s a little down arrow. Click it, and a menu will appear, with “Unfollow ________” being one of the options. Select that, and you’re done. Now don’t you already feel better?

But beyond this, Facebook has now made it possible to select your BFFs and make sure you always see their posts first when you check Facebook. (You didn’t just unfollow me did you? Of course not. Because you’re reading this to find out how to make sure you always see every scintillating blog post I slap up on Facebook. Right? RIGHT??!?)

To add people to your “see first” menu,

go to the upper right corner of your main Facebook page–the spot where it lists your name, and has icons for chat, privacy settings, etc. At the right of that menubar is another little down arrow. Click it. Look through the pop up menu that appears, and select “News Feed Preferences.” Click on the “People” category to the left of the pop up window that appears. This is where you can re-follow friends (in case you accidentally just unfollowed me a minute or two ago), and it’s also where you can tell Facebook that you always want to see their posts first.

(Interestingly enough, it also shows you how many posts you’ve seen by different friends over the last week. See anyone (other than me) on there that you really didn’t want to see that much of? Maybe think about unfollowing them . . .)

Scroll through the list and pick the people who you want to see the most. Hover your mouse over the “Following” menu to the right of their name, and some other options will appear. Click on “See First,” and you’re good to go! (Note: this also works for pages. So if you’re like me and want all the Alton Brown posts he can write, you can add him to your “See First” list. Just don’t tell Aunt Edna that you unfollowed her and her 8 children, but you’re avidly hanging on every word that comes from the mouth of the world’s most awesome TV food expert.)

Anyway. I’ve now done my good deed for the week. Feel free to pass this information on to all your friends and relations. Why? Because what we don’t need to see any more of is this:

And that pretty much only happens when people don’t curate their Facebook feeds. It doesn’t have to be like that, peoples!

Got questions? Ask away!

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