Sunday 3 June 2012

Decluttering your Facebook feed

If you are a comper who uses Facebook, you probably have dozens - maybe hundreds - of comping friends and Like hundreds of pages. And it can be overwhelming, can't it? I found I had over 3,000 pages liked, and my news feed moved so fast I couldn't keep up with it. In fact I was almost ready to give up entering competitions on Facebook, unless I unliked a whole lot of pages.

But until the latest changes to Facebook there wasn't a quick way to unlike lots of pages at once. The good news is that now there is. The changes to Facebook have been generally pretty unpopular with most of us, but this one is very helpful.

To start unliking pages, go to your profile page and click on the "Likes" box, at the top right under your cover photo. You will find a section called "Favourites" at the top, with the pages you like at the bottom.  Click on "Edit"  beside the favourites, then scroll down to below the different sections, just above your list of pages, and click on where it says "Other pages you like" and a pop up box will appear - you can simply click "Unlike" next to all the pages you no longer want to follow,scrolling through the list until (if you follow as many as I did) you start to feel RSI coming on and need a rest! When you have finished, click on "finished editing" to save your hard work.

How do you decide which pages to unlike? Well, it's easy enough to like them again later on, so you can afford to be pretty ruthless. Ones you interact with regularly, you will probably recognise the names of, so keep them. If it seems completely unfamiliar, you probably liked it once and never went back, so you might as well unlike it, at least for now. You may see pages connected to things you are no longer interested in - for instance, now both my daughters are married I unliked all the pages connected with wedding accessories and venues, and now I no longer eat sweets or chocolate I unliked a rather  embarrassing number of pages selling those!

I managed to get the number of pages I like down to around a third of what it had been. But I noticed there were still lots of pages I visit regularly but seldom read their posts when they appear in my own news feed. So rather than unliking them, I waited until a post from one of them appeared in my news feed. Then hovered the mouse pointer over the name of the business to get the pop up box with their details in it, and then over the "Liked" button in the bottom right of the box. That brings up a drop down menu, with the line "show in news feed" ticked. Click on that to untick it and you won't see posts from them but can still visit their page, chat to them, enter their competitions and tag their photos.

If some of your friends are a bit too talkative, yet you don't want to unfriend them and hurt their feelings, you can do the same with them, except that this time instead of a "Liked" button, the menu will appear under the "Friends" button. 

On the other hand, there may be some friends and pages that you really don't want to miss a single post from. Once again, if you follow lots of people and pages, their messages can get lost in the background noise, so why not add them to a list? Use the drop down menus as above, but this time instead of hiding them from your news feed, select the "add to list" option. Facebook provides you with some ready-made lists, such as family and work colleagues, or gives you the option to create lists of your own. You will find your lists under "More" then "Interests" on the lower left of your news feed, and by clicking on one of them you can keep up to date with everything on  it.

My own spring clean has  streamlined my Facebook feed and made it much easier to keep up do date - I hope you will find that it does the same for you.

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