Facebook Feed Fix: See More of What You Want, Less What the Bots Want

VIDEO: TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR NEWS FEED

Sick of seeing posts from the same accounts in your News Feed? WSJ's Joanna Stern offers some tips to diversify your feed. Photo/video: Drew Evans/The Wall Street Journal.

If you looked at my Facebook feed, you’d think I only had eight friends—two of which are news outlets and another one named Windex (Sponsored). I don’t even “like” Windex!

Our Facebook news feeds are the result of the social network’s personalization algorithm. It feeds us posts it thinks we want to see.

It turns out, however, Facebook doesn’t always know what we want. There are a lot of people and publications I actually like that I never see in my main feed. Here’s what I did—and what you should do—to add more diversity to your feed, and push back against the algorithms.

Tip 1: Use the Most Recent Feed

Facebook has two basic feed options. Both have the same content—all the posts from the people you follow and posts from pages that Facebook thinks you’ll be interested in. They’re just ordered differently.

Facebook really wants you to use its default feed, which pushes the posts it thinks you want to see toward the top. There is, however, a Most Recent feed which shows you all those posts in chronological order. When I use it, I feel like I’m seeing a greater variety of people and things.

The trick is, Facebook buries Most Recent, and doesn’t allow you to make it your default view. In the latest iPhone app, tap the three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner. Then scroll down to See More > Feeds > Most Recent. You’ll have to do this every time you launch the app.

In the Android app, select the three horizontal lines in the top right. Then scroll down and select Feeds > Most Recent. (Some may see “Most Recent” closer to the top of the Settings section if they once added it to the Favorites list.)

On the desktop website, select the “News Feed” button on the left rail, then click the three buttons then hit “Most Recent.”

Tip 2: Tell Facebook Who You Like

Since you’ll still end up in your default feed most of the time, tell Facebook what people and accounts you never want to miss.

On the iPhone tap those three horizontal lines in the bottom right corner, then scroll down to Settings > News Feed Preferences > Prioritize who to see first. Then select the people and accounts you like best. From now on, when they have a new post, it will appear in the top part of the feed.

In the Android app, select the three horizontal lines in the top right and scroll down to News Feed Preferences and follow the same instructions.

Tip 3: Tell Facebook What You Don’t Like

Take a stand and tell Facebook that you’d rather not see certain things in your feed. In the iPhone and Android app, on a post from a person or page, tap the small inverted carrot in the top right corner and then select “Hide Post - See Fewer Posts Like This.” Facebook will then ask a few follow-up questions about why you’d prefer not to see it.

In her weekly “You Got This” video series, Joanna offers quick mobile tips meant to be watched right on your phone. Watch more of her “You Got This” videos here.

Write to Joanna Stern at joanna.stern@wsj.com

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