Facebook is giving people more control over whose content occupies their news feed on the social network, arguably the web's most prized real estate.
People will be able to see which of their friends or the brands they follow accounted for the most posts in their news feeds each week, Facebook said Friday. What's more, the company also introduced a way for people to dial down the number of posts they see from a given friend or brand, as opposed to completely hiding them.
The update means Facebook will put more of a filter on the content you see from friends or brands you "turn down," ideally making sure that only their most relevant or compelling posts show up on your screen.
For marketers, the main implication is that it'll be easier for people to keep tabs on oversharing -- and punish brands for poor posts. It will still take people at least two clicks to unfollow a brand, but the decision is no longer as drastic as staying connected to a brand or silencing it entirely. Now anyone who's on the fence -- those who might like as many of a brand's posts as they dislike -- will be able to compromise by telling Facebook they want to see fewer posts from that brand.
Whether people will use the new controls will remain to be seen. But when brands saw their organic reach on Facebook dwindle last year, the company chalked it up to a lot of people tagging the brands' posts as spam. Marketers could experience a similar impact if enough people tell Facebook they want to see less content from a brand.