Social 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