Many Facebook users wish the site had a “dislike” button when yet another gym update or baby picture crops up in their news feed. While that particular feature won’t be appearing next to your friends’ statuses any time soon, you will soon be able to tell Facebook exactly why you have chosen to hide certain things from appearing in your news feed.
The social network will be rolling out this new feature to users over the next few months, and when a post is hidden, the user will be asked for their reasoning behind their decision; was the post offensive, not relevant to their interests, or just plain dull?
Facebook will then use the information they have gathered to tailor future posts, so users can see more of what they’re interested in, and less of what they’re not, on their news feed.
While it is not clear exactly how this process will work, Facebook has confirmed that they will be using this trial period to experiment with different buttons and menu options to see what works best.
By refining their service in this way, Facebook will learn more about each individual user, as well as being quickly and easily alerted to offensive content on the site, as Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Product Manager for Ads, explains.
She says: “If a lot of people start reporting that something is offensive, it’s something we would probably not show to a lot more users. If you tell us that something is uninteresting we would show you less about that, but we wouldn't use that signal with other users.”
Meanwhile, another possible new feature has been spotted by some Facebook users, which, once they've liked a page, allows them to choose whether they’d like to receive notifications whenever that page posts an update.
Facebook has revealed that they were merely testing this feature with some users, and the test is no longer running. However, if this is something that could be permanently introduced to Facebook in future, then it could be of major interest, particularly for marketing professionals.