Facebook Feed Fiddling
by Jo Shaer, on September 26, 2011
Previously on Facebook, we used to have two buttons at the top of the page with Top Stories and Recent Stories and we could switch between them, depending upon what we wanted to see. I do quite like that they have now been amalgamated into one feed.
However, the recent changes have given us the ticker on the far right of the page which summarises people's activity in term sof likes. Instead of being restricted to liking things, we can now watch/listen/cook/run using a variety of apps, including Spotify, Netflix and Nike. If you want to extend the Ticker, there is a box at the bottom of the column on the left hand side. If you click this, it will move your ticker bar over the chat column below it. From there, you can move the grey bar to make chat bigger or the ticker bar bigger. To return it to default, there is another small box in the bottom right hand corner which closes chat and puts the ticker back to its regular position to the right of the newsfeed.
Back to the main body of your personal profile, Top Stories are at the top of the page, marked with a little blue triangular tag and Most Recent Stories below that - the former is made up of stories and status updates that have received a lot of interest through being marked 'Top Story'. Edgerank is now really going to become the defining factor when it comes to getting your content or status updates in front of people. If they don't regularly interact with you, if you haven't built an affinity with them, then the chances of your status updates appearing in their Top Stories is seriously decreased. Having said that, if you're on Facebook a lot, you will see the Most Recent Stories first.
For Business Pages, it is more important than ever to avoid the scenario where fans like your page but then never return. They need to work really hard at producing valuable and relevant information on their pages to encourage more engagement and activity in or der to get into the Top Stories category. However, there is also the risk of appearing spammy if you post too often without getting any responses or likes.
What Facebook have also allowed us to do as users is to control the content that we see so, if you click the little arrow next to any update, you can unmark a Top Story and choose to hide future posts from that person.
By the same token you can go into any Facebook status update and designate items as top stories - this is the updated version of sharing. If you mark it as a top story more people will see it, improving its Edgerank. Or you can hide that story or all their stories. Or you can select how many updates you want to see from that person - all, most or only the important ones like births, marriages, etc. You can unsubscribe from their status updates or unsubscribe from the person altogether.
It works the same on status updates from apps that you have liked, with the option to hide stuff from them. This is going to become very useful in the future with the threatened explosion of applications. I certainly don't want to be inundated by apps in my newsfeeds so I can select to hide all updates from that app.
You can also choose the content of your Newsfeed by clicking on one of your lists in the left-hand sidebar and choosing to have the feed made up of content exclusively from the people on that list. You can also keep specific newsfeeds of lists always available by clicking on the little pen to the right of the list and then adding the list to your favourites bar at the top of the left hand sidebar.
Read more about Facebook's smart lists - their version of Google Plus's Circles...