After several months of testing, Facebook is looking to make its simplified News Feed sorting options available to more users, with three separate, swipeable feed presentation options available via your main feed.
As you can see in this screenshot, posted by user @TomBarragry (and shared by Matt Navarra), users who are able to access the new options will see three different, swipeable listing options at the top of their News Feed, as well as a slider-style icon at the top right. Tapping on this will enable you to choose which Feed you want as your primary.
But don’t get too excited – there’s no option to go back to seeing all posts from all your connections and Pages as they happen.
As explained by Facebook’s Alexandru Voica:
“Most Recent contains the same content you’ll find in your ranked Feed, but sorted in reverse chronological order (i.e. with the newest posts first), making it easy to stay up-to-speed with what’s happening now.”
“Favorites shows you up-to-date posts from the people and Pages you care about most. You can select up to 30 friends and Pages to include in your Favorites; their posts will then be highlighted with a badge and appear higher in News Feed.”
And then there’s also ‘Home’, which is the default feed.
So it’s not a major change. Even if you select ‘Most Recent’, you’ll still only see content that the algorithm has chosen for you. But it gives you more options, and at least the perception of more control over how your News Feed works.
As noted, Facebook has been testing this for some time. Reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong spotted an initial version of these settings back in February, while the above example was posted back in June, so it has been floating around for some time. But now, more people will see it. How many more? That’s not 100% clear at this stage.
Of course, you can already switch to a ‘Most Recent’ feed via your Facebook settings, so again, it’s nothing new, as such. But by making the options more up front, it could help people feel more control of their experience. Though they’re not really.
Still, it’s something, and the ability to swipe between feeds could get more people adding Pages and people to their Favorites in order to populate that listing, which could be a relevant note in future, dependent on take-up.