Facebook Finally Realised That Messing With Top And Recent Stories Annoys Everybody

Facebook Finally Realised That Messing With Top And Recent Stories Annoys Everybody

One of Facebook’s more persistent annoyances in recent years has been its determination to make you look at the machine-curated top stories news feed view, rather than the reverse-chronological recent stories. Now it seems the social media giant might have realised how irritating that is.

I did a Facebook survey this morning which was entirely focused on the top stories/recent stories distinction. It’s possible Facebook suggested the survey to me because I consistently switch my view in the web client back to recent stories whenever Facebook “helpfully” changes it to top stories. I have to do that at least once a week, and it’s a pain.

Over the course of 18 questions, Facebook tried to work out my attitude to its approach. It asked how I preferred to view my news feed. It probed me about the difference between the two views, and whether I would see more in one or the other. It asked me how important I thought being able to control my news feed was. (Extremely, natch.)

Those questions aren’t a guarantee that Facebook would do what I’d like: respect that I don’t want my view changed from recent stories, preferably by making that a permanent setting. But it does suggest that the company is aware that its current approach of simply ramming Top Stories down everyone’s throats isn’t necessarily the right strategy.


  • God yes just leave it as “Most Recent” and show everything. Annoys me when I go to check FB to see whats the latest and Im seeing crap from weeks ago or how a friend commented on a post (from weeks ago) that I hadnt even commented on or liked.
    “Most Recent” seeeeeems to be sticking on the FB website now; just wish they undid the hiding of it under the “More” panel on the iOS app

  • Can someone give me the Cliffs Notes version of how to set my news feed to “Show me every post by my friends in reverse chronological order please”? I didn’t know it was possible, but apparently from the above, it is.

    There’s SO MUCH TIME-SENSITIVE STUFF I miss until after the fact because FB didn’t judge it worthy of my attention until 17 hours after it was posted. 🙁

    • Click on the little down arrow next to ‘news feed’, choose ‘most recent’.

      Then repeat every three days when FB decides to randomly reset it to ‘Top Stories’ because reasons.

      • Oh, that’s really obvious. Not. Thanks.

        When everything else is controlled by Settings, this thing is controlled by a random drop-down in the UI nowhere near the top menu. Sigh.

  • But when will Facebook realise that people want an option to not share what you like with your friends? My wife recently liked something and found that it showed up on my news feed as “X liked Y”, which annoyed her because she never asked to share that like with anyone, other than the page owner and people viewing that page.

    With Facebook, it’s hard to know where your clicks and posts can end up. Unlike Google+ where you can decide who sees the things you +1, or even turn that feature off altogether.

    • +1
      The same thing with comments. I often want to comment on a post but don’t want it coming up on other people’s news feeds as “X commented on Y”. Surely this should be a pretty basic thing to have control over.

      • The worst part is, it doesn’t even show you the comment without some clicking. Let’s say someone posts a “FREE TARGET VOUCHER” photo. I comment on it, telling my friend that it’s a scam (wrong thing to do, do it in a private message or flag the image as a scam) and BOOM, it appears on my friends new feed.

        It’s like having a conversation as a coffee shop, and the guy behind you is eavesdropping and shouting out stuff as you’re talking. Yeah it’s a public place and you’re not paying to sit in the coffee shop (just for the coffee) but you still don’t want that guy (Facebook) shouting out to everyone else what you’re talking about.

  • The way around Facebook’s arrogant News Feed filtering is to create an Interest List and add all your liked sources to it, and then use it instead of News Feed. That way you can see ALL posts from ALL your liked sources. Bonuses are no ads, and none of those bloody annoying lists of People/News/Music… you’ve never heard of and never want to see.

    Another arrogance Facebook should get rid of is its app’s anal obsessive need to dump you into the News Feed whenever you launch it, regardless where you where when you closed it.

  • Doesn’t matter. Most recent is barely less curated than top stories. For example, I’ll see shit come to the top of my feed that a friend posted a week ago, because some friend of theirs bloody commented on it “most recently”.

    JUST GIVE ME STATUSES IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER! If I cared about a post from a week ago, I would of commented/subscribed.

  • It’s gotten so bad I’ve gotten to the point of not using it to view peoples status because its mostly irrelevant now or just so hard to figure out what is actually handy to know. I only use facebook for chat now.. News Feeds are next to useless.

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