Given the recent events in the world, your Facebook feed likely overflows with political posts and other world happenings. Hasn't that been the case for the last few years? But you don't need to delete Facebook to catch a break. Like you can adjust your Facebook privacy settings, you can also change your newsfeed settings. And if that isn't enough, several plugins and apps can make Facebook a more pleasant place. Here are ways to filter your Facebook feed and posts:
Use a Facebook Filter Browser Extension
Browser extensions can filter your Facebook feed, giving you more control over what you can or can't see. Unfortunately, Facebook alone doesn't allow you to filter keywords or features on your newsfeed. Browser extensions can do this and more.
Social Fixer for Desktop
Social Fixer is a browser extension that allows you to filter your feed by keywords. It's available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. This app comes with pre-made filters that can block topics such as politics, upcoming elections, and even spoilers for your favorite T.V. shows.
Other features of Social Fixer include:
- Hide sponsored posts
- Get notified when someone unfriends you
- Filter your newsfeed by keyword or author
- Hide posts you've already read
- Tabbed newsfeed for author, games, apps, and more
Facebook Purity Plugin for Desktop
Facebook Purity Plugin (F.B. Purity) is another free browser plugin available on Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. It is similar to Social Fixer in many ways.
Features of F.B. Purity include:
- Hide all ads, sponsored posts, games, and suggested content
- Disable autoplay videos
- Image content filters
- Filter posts by keyword or phrase
- Get notified when someone unfriends you
- Loads of options to hide/show many displays and features
Choosing which of these plugins is best for you is a matter of preference. As you can see, some of the features differ for each app. Decide which features of Facebook are most problematic for you and choose the app that best solves your problem.
Use Alternative Facebook Apps on Your Phone
Now that you've learned how to filter your Facebook feeds from desktop, what about your mobile devices?
Friendly for Facebook is a mobile app with a decent list of features to help filter and customize your newsfeed from your phone. Filter items by keyword and hide or remove elements as needed. To use it, you would download the app to replace the native Facebook app. The basic app is free, but the pro version unlocks some of the features and goes for $1.99.
Features of Friendly for Facebook
- Facebook Messenger support
- Custom newsfeed settings
- Download videos directly from Facebook
Unfollow People and Pages
“Friending” someone on Facebook automatically subscribes you to their posts and updates. When they share an article, image, or status update, it will show up on your newsfeed according to Facebook's algorithm.
You don't have to unfriend someone if you don't like their posts. Instead, you have the option to unfollow them. To do this, go to their profile and find the dropdown menu over their cover photo that says “Following.” Hover over the button and select “unfollow.” When you unfollow someone, you remain Facebook friends with them, but their posts will no longer appear in your newsfeed. Don't worry, if you still want to see what they post, you can visit their profile and view their content.
The same is true of pages. You can still “like” a page but unfollow their content if need be.
Unfollow Political and Other Pages
An alternative to unfollowing a bunch of your Facebook friends is to “ban” individual pages from your newsfeed. When an unwanted post shows up on your newsfeed, click on the three little dots in the top right corner of the post. A menu will appear with several options. One option is to “hide post,” which will make that post disappear from your newsfeed. Eventually, Facebook will begin to learn what kind of content you prefer and show you less of what you don't like. You can also choose to “snooze” a page for 30 days. Another option in this menu allows you to hide all posts from that page. If you change your mind, you can always go to the page you've hidden and follow or like that page again.
More and more, Facebook is realizing that people want more control over what they see. And for the features that Facebook doesn't provide, several apps allow you to filter your Facebook feed to save your mental health and preserve relationships from crumbling under the weight of virtual opinions.