LONDON: Facebook has introduced a new set of features to give users more control over what appears on their feeds.
The changes mean that on all posts from individuals and communities that a user is linked to, including recommended posts, there will be buttons offering the options to “Show more” or “Show less.”
“Today, we’re announcing new ways to customize what you see in your Facebook Feed so you can discover what’s most relevant to you,” the company said in a blog post.
Depending on which button is pressed, the algorithm will temporarily increase or decrease related content, it said.
Facebook said the move was part of its ongoing efforts to improve its artificial intelligence systems.
“By offering more ways to incorporate direct feedback into feed ranking, we’re making our artificial intelligence systems smarter and more responsive”, it said.
According to Tom Alison, the head of Facebook’s core app, the algorithm will record the preference for 30 to 60 days, a time frame decided after a study of users’ preferences.
“We are looking at it as a signal you are giving us that is a little more time-bound than liking a post,” Alison said.
Currently, users of Facebook and Instagram — both of which are owned by Meta Platforms Inc. — can hide posts from people they follow or have been suggested, but the new feature will encompass Facebook posts from friends and recommendations.
The company said also it was trialing new ways to help users customize how much content they see in their feeds from the friends and family, groups and other pages to which they are connected.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the changes were part of the company’s efforts to compete with the surge in popularity of Chinese rival TikTok, whose recommendation-based algorithm has proven a hit for the video-sharing app.
“Features like these can help you discover more of the content that’s valuable to you, so you can see more of what you want and less of what you don’t,” the company said.
“As with every product change we make, we’ll use direct feedback to continually refine our approach.”