Facebook Friends Beware of Their Latest Feature

Facebook LogoSocial media giant, Facebook, has just announced the release of their latest feature. Friends beware, the “unfollow” button is soon to be rolled out to every newsfeed. The button will allow a user to unfollow friends who’s posts to their newsfeed are annoying them. The action of the button will anonymously block that annoying friend’s postings from appearing in their newsfeed, without actually having to use the more visible “Unfriend”.

Facebook’s latest feature seems exactly like the existing “hide all” function that can be accessed by clicking the drop-down arrow in the upper right hand corner of the post itself. The “hide all” is an anonymous way of clearing one’s newsfeed of posts and status updates from that annoying friend. While the “hide all” clears up the newsfeed of unwanted posts without letting the friend know or having to use the much more prominent “unfriend,” it still avoids confrontation and spats between the two parties involved.

What likely swayed Facebook to change the name without changing functionality is other popular social media networks. Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest use “follow” and “unfollow” as a common feature in regards to making other’s posts and tweets visible or invisible. Facebook now seems to be “following” these three networks by incorporating the follow-unfollow concept into their platform.

Users and friends of Facebook will also be able to see a visible “following” or “unfollow” notification near the existing “like” button on individual personal profile and business pages. This latest feature will also allow a user to be able to gain access to see posts from a business without actually liking their page or having to add them as a friend first. Users will have to click the “follow” button on a business page for the business’s posts to be seen. Business page owners beware, as likes may go down but posts and status updates may still be seen.

Facebook “friending” is currently a two-way process where one individual has to make the friend request, and then the second party must approve that request for the networking and visibility to begin between their newsfeeds. Although Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram all have similar security settings, where a two-way action is required, a high percentage of users on those two networks allow a one-way follow to occur. Facebook does allow a one-way “friending” function to occur, but only in cases where the Facebook page owner is a public figure or celebrity.  In this way, Facebook seems to be “following” the other three networks.

Facebook’s main goal is to allow their users the ability to screen or filter the content they view without offending a friend in the process. This will likely be a popular new feature as the social media leader attempts to keep being friends with users that are more familiar with the “follow” and “unfollow” procedure.

All users beware the latest Facebook feature should be available to desktops in the next few weeks. Android and iOS will be added in the next few months. Too many inappropriate posts, political stands, or spamming annoying status updates might find one’s posts to be going unread and unheard.

By Brent Matsalla

ABC News
NBC News

4 Responses to "Facebook Friends Beware of Their Latest Feature"

  1. Nathalie M   January 1, 2014 at 2:44 am

    What seriously annoys me the most in the recent changes (and which i haven’t seen treated by articles about the recent changes) up to the point that i”m considering deleting my account is the fact that one cannot finely choose anymore what one wants to see from their friends (photos, viedos, games updates, and so on) nor the frequency of updates from the friend popup window or the friend’s page itself.

    I also find it stupid and counterproductive on FB’s part because the consequences will automatically be that people will become disinterested in FB and might delete their accounts.

    – if we are only left with follow/unfollow options, and if we unfollow the person after one post too much, we will miss all of their next updates, which implies our newsfeed will become less and less interesting

    => why stay on FB then?

    – But if we choose NOT to unfollow a friend after that one post too much, it means our newsfeed will be cluttered with unwanted info from our friends – in addition to those recently appeared unwanted, annoying “pages” suggestions and ads. In which case our newsfeed will become ALSO less and less interesting

    => Why stay on FB then?

    In both cases, FB will loose users accounts or users participation, which will make it less and less interesting and make it lose more accounts or participation, and so on. Is Facebook suicidal?

    NB Also the new changes now prevent us from being able to block games apps notifications which might prove particularly annoying in the future when we make new FB friends.

  2. Hannah   December 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Is there still a way to have all posts from a certain page show up in your newsfeed? Previously there was a setting under the Like button to for “all posts” or “only important posts” to show up, but not it seems to be just “follow” or “unfollow”… For instance I love seeing all of the posts from the Humans of New York page pop up in my newsfeed, and I don’t like when Facebook filters them out. Any ideas?

    • Brent Matsalla   December 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Hannah, thanks for interacting with me on this and for being a reader of the Guardian Express. I do know exactly what you’re talking about, there used to be a “subscribe” button on Facebook as well. This isn’t the case any longer either. Being that your “Humans of New York” page isn’t a group, there is no option that would ensure you are getting all the posts. Facebook groups on the other hand do have an “Add to favorites” button in the settings and you can also be a group member while turning off the notifications. You may want to send this into Facebook as feedback as I am sure you’re not the only one that find this frustrating. Thanks again!

  3. Andrew Wilkie   December 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    But…you can already hide them from your newsfeed without unfriending them…


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