Following criticism for how its algorithms promote content, Facebook announced new features saying they will give people more control over what they see in their news feeds. The company also announced increasing tests where advertisers can choose subjects that their ads will not appear next to.
The company said it is testing controls to “adjust people’s ranking preferences” and customise the feed. Users can increase the number of posts from friends and cut down on external sources like groups and pages.
“This is part of our ongoing work to give people more control over news feed, so they see more of what they want and less of what they don’t”, the company said in an announcement.
“We’ll begin testing in countries around the world to a small percentage of people, gradually expanding in the coming weeks.”
”Soon, we are expanding the Topic Exclusion controls for News Feed test to a limited number of advertisers that run ads in English. The advertiser topic exclusion control allows an advertiser to select a topic to help define how we’ll show the ad on Facebook, including News Feed. Advertisers can select three topics – News and Politics, Social Issues, and Crime & Tragedy. When an advertiser selects one or more topics, their ad will not be delivered to people recently engaging with those topics in their News Feed.”
The company said that earlier tests show that advertisers that:
- Excluded the News and Politics categories were able to avoid News and Political adjacency 94% of the time.
- Excluded the Tragedy and Conflict categories were able to avoid Tragedy and Conflict adjacency 99% of the time.
- Excluded the Debated Social Issues categories were able to avoid Debated Social Issues adjacency 95% of the time.