Every since its launch, we’ve seen Facebook change. And change. Again, and again, and again. While many changes are actually for the best, there’s one thing these updates never fails to add to our news feed: more clutter. There’s also something our ever-growing list of friends never fails to bring to our news feed: even more clutter. Between Facebook’s ads, sponsored posts, and upcoming “personalized” news feed, and your friends’ posts about politics, religion, babies, cats, and weddings, it’s getting harder and harder to see the things that really matter.
Are you ready to change that? Don’t get too excited, I haven’t found a magic way to re-design your Facebook feed according to your wildest dreams, but there are ways and tools that can help you focus on what you’re really interested in, while doing away with noise, boring posts, uninteresting people you’re not sure why you ever friended, and unnecessary announcements. Whether you’re only interested in links, in photos, or in a specific group of people, there’s a way to focus your updates on what you want to see.
Facebook’s Built-In Options
There are several ways to use Facebook’s built-in options to de-clutter your news feed. These include changing the way your feed is sorted, manually hiding posts you don’t like seeing as you stumble upon them, customizing which friends appear on your news feed and what kinds of updates you’re seeing from them, and creating Facebook lists that can help you curate your news feed according to how much you care.
None of these things is complicated, but it does take some patience to go through your settings and fix things up. If you’re up for it, head over to Tina’s post about managing your Facebook news feed, and learn exactly who you can perform each of these actions.
Unwhatever.me is only one of nine different extensions that can help you clean up your news feed easily. The extensions are available for Chrome only, which is a shame, but do a swift job of purging certain keywords out of your Facebook life.
After installing the extension, specify the keywords you want to filter out in the extension’s options, and watch the magic at work. You can also set up a photo feed to replace the posts that get filtered out. The extension comes with an Instagram feed already built it (grumpy cat), but you can easily change the tag to show pictures you’d like. If you change your mind and what to see a hidden post, click “undo” to view it.
If you’re too lazy to specify your own keywords, sibling extensions such as Unbaby.me, Unpolitic.me, Unfoodpic.me, and Unwedding.me can you help you get rid of common annoying subjects you may not care about. All extensions are available for Chrome, and can be downloaded from the Unwhatever.me page.
Social Fixer is a Facebook-cleaning old timer, and can be used for much more than simple news feed filtering. The extension is available for any browser you can think of, besides Internet Explorer, and adds various tweaks and features to Facebook.
One of the features Social Fixer offers is filtering. This isn’t as simple as Unwhatever.me, but if you’re willing to spend a few minutes on tweaking it, you can set up your news feed to really show only the things you’re interested in. You can filter our certain people, apps, keywords, etc., and set up different actions for your filters.
You can use Social Fixer to create different tabs for your news feed, and filter your content into those tabs. You can then ignore certain tabs for as long as you want, and explore them only when you feel like it.
The New New New News Feed
Facebook’s news feed keeps changing, and the latest iteration will offer another built-in way to filter your news feed. Want to see only photos? No problem. Only music-related updates? There’s a feed for that. As it looks right now, there’s not going to be a way to create actual personalized news feeds, except for the already-existing lists.
Will the new news feed help silence the news feed noise, or increase it? That remains to be seen, but you can go a long way to getting a de-cluttered and focuses feed even without it.
Know of other ways to see only what you care about on Facebook? Share in the comments!
Image Credit: Funnel image via Shutterstock