Internet Social Media

Do You See Too Much From Too Many People? Manage Your Facebook News Feed with Ease

Tina Sieber 01-01-2013

facebook news feedFacebook is a great tool to stay in touch with people. You can easily share personal news with all your friends and learn what is going on in their lives. Facebook helps feeling connected even with people who live far away.


As you collect more and more friends, however, staying on top of what everyone is up to becomes challenging. Facebook sucks us into endlessly scrolling through people’s updates, an activity that easily consumes hours every week; it’s an addiction. Moreover, with all of those different people potentially reading our updates, we are forced to being more careful with what we post and share on our Timeline.

If you are spending too much time on Facebook, digging through updates you don’t really care about, only to randomly discover what you are really interested in, and while feeling overwhelmed or guilty for wasting so much time, it is time to start managing your Facebook friends like a pro. Facebook offers several features that allow you to group your friends and manage what (likely) appears on your Facebook homepage, i.e. your news feed. This article explains how to make use of these features and hence make the most of your time spent on Facebook.

Control How Posts are Sorted in Your Facebook News Feed

Your news feed is available in two different views. One prioritizes the most interesting and most relevant stories since you last checked Facebook. The other shows stories in the order they were posted. The Top Story view is unpredictable since it is based on many different factors, e.g. comments, likes, or your relationship to that person. The Most Recent view on the other hand is chronological and if you don’t regularly read your news feed, you may miss out on important updates. So choose wisely.

To change the sort order, go to your Facebook news feed, click SORT in the top right of the feed, and check the view you prefer.

facebook news feed


Routinely Purge Your Facebook News Feed of Stories You Don’t Want to See

Clearing your news feed of clutter is tedious, but it should become a habit. If there are updates that you don’t want to see or that you want to see more of, treat them accordingly. For every post on your news feed, you have three main options. Click the arrowhead at the top right of a story and a menu will pop up:

  • Follow Post to receive notifications for any new like or comment on this story.
  • Hide… to remove that particular story from your news feed.
  • Report story or spam to remove that particular story and help prevent similar stories from appearing on your Facebook news feed.

facebook activity feed

When you click Hide… on a post from a friend, you can choose what updates you want to see from that friend in the next step or organize who you see in your news feed. Those two options are discussed separately below.

facebook activity feed


When you click Hide… on any other post, you can choose to hide all stories from the respective source or unlike that page or group altogether. Both are great ways to quickly unsubscribe from updates that you never wanted to receive in the first place.

facebook activity feed

To view and edit the list of all the friends, apps, and pages that have been hidden, go to your Facebook homepage, hover over the News Feed entry on the left-hand sidebar, click the pencil icon, and choose Edit Settings. Unfortunately, you can only un-hide people, apps, or pages, but you cannot add anything, although that would be very comfortable.

real time facebook feed


Customize Which of Your Friends is Shown in Your News Feed

To really take control over what is shown in your news feed, you have to manage friends individually. For each friend you can choose whether or not they should be shown in your news feed and what types of posts exactly should be shown.

Head over to the profile of a Facebook friend and click the Friends button in the top right. Be sure the Show in News Feed option is selected, then click the Settings option right underneath.

real time facebook feed

This will load a list of options that help you customize which updates you will see from this particular friend. First, define whether to see all, most, or only important updates. Then go through the types of updates and deselect the ones you are not interested in.


real time facebook feed

You may have noticed the Notifications option in the first menu. To learn more about this topic, I recommend the following article: How To Get Rid Of Facebook Notifications & Other Annoying Things You Don’t Want To See [Weekly Facebook Tips] How to Delete Facebook Notifications Facebook has a reputation for spamming users. Here's everything you need to know about managing Facebook notifications. Read More

Show Posts from Friends Based on Quality of Friendship

If managing every single friend seems like a bit too much, you can use a workaround. As mentioned above, Facebook has a feature to see less from selected people. When Facebook finds that you don’t interact much with some people, you can move them to your Acquaintances list and subsequently see fewer of their updates in your news feed.

Do You See Too Much From Too Many People? Manage Your Facebook News Feed with Ease Facebook Lists

Fortunately, you can also do the opposite by adding people to your Close Friends list. Note that this may trigger extra notifications that you never intended to receive. Thus, if you are going to use it, be sure to manage your Close Friends list and define what notifications and content you want to see Facebook Tip: How To Disable Close Friends Notifications Or Remove Friends From The Close Friends List Facebook makes it very easy to add friends to the list from the top of the news feed, but it’s not as easy removing them. After you’ve figured it out it’s not complicated at all,... Read More .

Show Selected Updates from Lists or Groups on Your News Feed

Like with individual friends, you can manage any list or group to define what types of updates and notifications you want to see from it. You can find all your friends lists here and all your groups here. Go to a list or group and find the respective button/s in the top right.

Do You See Too Much From Too Many People? Manage Your Facebook News Feed with Ease Manage Facebook Lists Notifications

View Updates from Custom Lists of Friends Only

Finally, instead of viewing your entire news feed, you can create custom friends lists and view updates from those lists only. Creating custom lists is smart because it also enables you to share updates with a selected group of people only.

We covered how to set up lists as one of The 5 Best Hidden Facebook Tricks You Should Make Use Of The 10 Best Hidden Facebook Tricks You Should Make Use Of You might think you know everything there is to know about Facebook, especially if you’re a social media addict. Here are 10 tricks you probably don't know. Read More and also covered the topic extensively here Using Facebook Friends Lists For Interests Or Circles [Facebook Hack Or Tip Of The Week] Is Facebook driving you crazy? Most people who use Facebook generally view the home feed in its unfiltered form, which means they're seeing updates from friends, acquaintances and pages all lumped in together and shown... Read More . Briefly, on your Facebook homepage find the Friends header in your left sidebar, hover over it and click MORE to get to your Friends lists. Click on a list to open and subsequently edit it. Click on the Create List button in the top right to create a new custom list.

facebook news feed

Finally, if your problem is that you receive too many IMs from specific friends while logged into Facebook, use custom lists to hide yourself from selected friends How to Change Which Facebook Friends Can See You Online It's possible to maintain privacy on Facebook. Here's how to decide which Facebook friends can see you online and which can't. Read More .


It is possible to reduce the noise on Facebook, but it does require some dedication. What makes it hard is that a lot of features still seem scattered and some of Facebook’s behavior is unpredictable. For example it remains a mystery which stories finally end up in people’s new feed and is not clear to me how Favorites play into that. Chances are, that Favorites are more likely to be shown, but it’s not a guarantee. If you consistently teach Facebook what you like and what you don’t like, however, you are increasing your chances to actually see the things that matter to you; at least most of the time and most of them.

For more tips about Facebook, check out our (Very) Unofficial Facebook Privacy Guide The Complete Facebook Privacy Guide Privacy on Facebook is a complex beast. Many important settings are hidden out of sight. Here's a complete look at every Facebook privacy setting you need to know about. Read More .

Do you have any time saving tips for managing Facebook friends and the Facebook news feed?

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  1. thu ya
    January 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

    how to categorize news feed and page feed in facebook?

    • Nancy B
      February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Under your friends settings you can unclick show in news feed. I do that for a number of them especially the gaming friends just have the games showing not everything they do.

  2. Nevzat Akkaya
    January 2, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I wish if there was a way to disable all game requests permanently! Facebook, you drive me nuts!

  3. Junil Maharjan
    January 2, 2013 at 5:16 am

    These are very useful tips and going to use it as soon as i get enough free time and in too much mood to use facebook. will be using it soon to download some makeuseof guides.

  4. retiredtrebor
    January 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    An even better way to control "stuff" is to not friend the "friends of friends". Facebook isn't a competition, you don't score points for everyone you friend. If you don't personally know them, either don't friend them, or unfriend them. Simple.