5 underutilized Facebook features
I’ve noticed a few people posting articles with comments such as “Posting to save for later..” or “Breadcrumbs…” etc. I’ve also seen a few people complaining about particular types of content on their feed. What it seems many people don’t know about are a few features Facebook has implemented to aid you in how you curate your own news feed. This post is intended to call out a few of those features to help you better utilize Facebook in the way you desire.
First, you’ll need to know how to get to these features. On every post, you should see an upside down caret character (Similar to a “v”, and highlighted in the red circle in the image) at the top right just inside the border of the post. Clicking this icon opens a drop list of contextual features per post.
- Feature One: Hide post. Clicking hide post will remove this particular post from showing on your news feed. Choosing this selection will also result in additional options to “See less from…” the particular friend who shared it as well as any friend who may have liked or comments upon it causing it to be seen in your feed. Note that “See less from…” doesn’t unfollow the friend, but places their posts lower in priority in Facebook’s algorithm that determines what you see in your news feed.
- Feature Two: Unfollow <friend’s name=””>. This, of course, allows you to unfollow your friend in such a way that the content they share will not show in your news feed, but maintains the Facebook friend connection. This is a very useful selection if you wish to remain friends but desire to avoid political confrontations or for friends who are posting too often. You can still see their content by navigating to the friends page specifically.
- Feature 3: Hide all from <source name>. This has got to be one of the single best features I’ve found. Are friends sharing too much from “Occupy Democrats”? From “Breitbart”? Want to remain friends and see their other posts but avoid some of the fake news, satire sites (like “The Daily Mash” as seen here, check their about page)? This feature allows you to effectively block these sources from showing up in your news feed. Powerful, and shows an immediate and dramatic impact. Use this feature with wild abandon to really curate your news feed the way you desire.
- Feature 4: Report post. This allows you to report spam or other issues surrounding a particular post that isn’t appropriate for Facebook. There’s a multitude of potential choices when you select this option, intended to guide you to the right method of reporting the right content. I’ve found that this feature is hit and miss in its usefulness, as some posts I’d consider highly inappropriate for Facebook, when reported, have been determined to not conflict with Facebook’s community policies. So, use this feature with the awareness that it may not work as you expect or hope.
- Feature 5: Save link. Aside from feature 3, this is the BEST and most useful feature that I have found I select on nearly a daily basis. Choosing this option will allow you to save the post, link, video, etc. to a specific section in Facebook accessible from the left side nav menu (on the desktop/web version), also directly accessible at https://www.facebook.com/saved/ This is THE way to save articles for reading later without reposting it. This can save some embarrassment of reposting an article before reading, only to find later that it is incorrect, misleading, or otherwise problematic for you. The key to this feature is remembering to go back to the Saved section of Facebook to review those saved items. Take it from me, this is a seriously useful feature.
- BONUS Feature 6: Turn on notifications for this post. Like the saved feature, this can help you keep tabs on a post that interests you but for which you have no real contribution. I’ve used this often when a friend posts a question that I have as well, and I want to see what answers others provide. This saves the original post from a flurry of comments like “commenting to follow thread… ” or “watching”. Using this feature allows you to turn on those notifications without having to add a comment. Solidly useful.
There are, of course other features and selections not noted here, as many of the items are based on the specific context of the post and how it was presented on your news feed. The items above are meant to raise your awareness to some of these useful features provided by Facebook to improve your news feed experience and give you deeper control of how you can manage or curate the content presented to you in your news feed. So, go, explore, use these tools and features and begin enjoying Facebook a lot more than you already do!