Facebook Changes News Feed Settings, Some Users Only Shown Close Friends by Default

Last week, Facebook changed the options in its news feed settings so users either “Show posts from: friends and Pages you interact with the most” or from “all of your friends and Pages.” Some users have unknowingly been defaulted to the first option, causing lot of content to be hidden from them without their knowledge.

It’s not exactly clear what determines which default users receive, though newer accounts appear more likely to only be seeing content from a subset of friends. Previously users could select exactly how many of their friends they saw posts from.

Users can manually configure this setting by scrolling to the very bottom of their news feed and clicking the “Edit Options” link. This brings up the “Edit Your News Feed Settings” window where users can select from the two “Show posts from” options. They can also manage the list of  friends, Pages, and applications they’ve hidden from their news feed by clicking the ‘x’ button next to one of their posts and choosing to “Hide all by [author]“.

Facebook’s news feed settings have become much simpler over the past few years. In 2007, users could manipulate sliders for each type of story to control how often they appeared. In 2008, users could increase or decrease prominence of specific friends in-line from the news feed. Before the current interface, users defaulted to seeing posts from their 250 closest friends unless they increased the maximum.

The reduction in granularity of control contrasts with the increasing granularity available in Facebook’s privacy settings. Facebook may have decided that setting a specific number of friends to see was too arbitrary.

When making the decision of whether to see posts from all or only some friends and Pages, users should think about how often they skim past uninteresting updates in their feed. If its only a few especially noisy friends that are cluttering their feed, they should just hide those users. If they are frequently bored or think there’s too much to read, they should select to only see a subset.

However, if users want the most comprehensive news feed possible, they should go into their settings and ensure that they’re seeing posts from all friends and Pages.

[Thanks to Kellie Mairs for the tip.]

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23 Responses to “Facebook Changes News Feed Settings, Some Users Only Shown Close Friends by Default”

  1. Stever says:

    Excellent article. Thanks!

  2. Facebook: New News Feed Option Shows Friends You Interact With Most « David King | Inspired by Technology says:

    [...] people’s home pages default to “friends and pages you interact with most,” as Josh Constine pointed out,  suggesting that this occurs for people who joined Facebook more recently. I wonder [...]

  3. SearchCap: The Day In Search, February 11, 2011 says:

    [...] Facebook Changes News Feed Settings, Some Users Only Shown Close Friends by Default, Inside Facebook [...]

  4. Taskedo says:

    This is a major change!

  5. 15 ways to increase your brand’s impact on Facebook says:

    [...] And another change from Facebook that allows you to make sure you’re seeing posts from all your friends (if you want that) [...]

  6. How NOT to be Invisible on The New Facebook Newsfeed | V3 Kansas City Integrated Marketing and Social Media Agency says:

    [...] as if your Facebook Newsfeed is filled with updates from all the same people lately? You’re not crazy – well, at least with [...]

  7. This Week’s Headlines From Across Inside Network says:

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  8. mary says:

    why am i not able to post on certain friends walls even after i do this change???
    thank you for your help

  9. Newsfeed-Filter: Nur noch Beiträge von wichtigen Seiten und Freunden angezeigt bekommen says:

    [...] Inside Facebook wurde bei der Einführung des neuen Menüs, die Einstellung als Default auf “Freunde und [...]

  10. New News Feed Settings Introduced By Facebook | Socialtrakr says:

    [...] Constine of InsideFacebook points out: Last week, Facebook changed the options in its news feed settings so users either “Show posts [...]

  11. rebecca says:

    Quit changing my facebook page. I like it like it was and if i wanted to change i would of hit the upgrade button. you all are starting to look like my space and I do not like it

    So you all leave my facebook page alone

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  14. Your Weekly Social Media Update | The Social Skinny says:

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  17. How the “New Facebook” settings affect community managers? « musings from the PR world says:

    [...]  Source: Inside Facebook [...]

  18. Relationship Marketing: Opt In Direct Connections « Indianapolis Marketing « Blog « Marketing | Social Media | Relationship Marketing | redwall LIVE says:

    [...] activity on their wall (or responding to posts, etc.) before the algorithms of the famous “News Feed” will pull the brands content into your top news. For this reason, a Facebook user is only [...]

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  21. Why Less Facebook Fans May Be Better! | Golf Club Media says:

    [...] users have the ability to hide updates from any specific page or friend they choose – http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/02/11/edit-news-feed-settings/. This means all those 2000 facebook fans won’t even see your [...]

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