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.


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