Facebook Newsfeed: Most Recent vs. Top Stories

Did you know that you’re not seeing everything you’ve asked for in Facebook? And, you are seeing some promotional posts that you didn’t ask for. You can get inundated if you saw everything, so Facebook watches what you click on and what you “like.” From that information they decide what are the Top Stories for you. It’s a good thing really, but sometimes you want to have control. There are several ways you can specify what you want to see:

  1. OK … Top Stories: This is the default. If you are looking at your Home Newsfeed, you are seeing Top Stories. Facebook figures out what news it thinks is important to you, including friends and liked company and group pages. With Top Stories view you also see a lot of sponsored posts … Ads. 
  2. Better? … Most Recent: To set your feed to Most Recent on a computer, just click imageon the dropdown arrow next to “NewsFeed” in the left sidebar. On a smartphone Facebook App you need to use the 3-line menu and find the option for “Feeds” then tap on Most Recent.  If you set your NewsFeed to show you Most Recent, then Facebook does not apply the Top Stories filter. It just gets all your friends’ posts and your liked pages and shows them all to you in strict chronological order.  Many people tell me how much they prefer this view. Personally, I think it is too much. I think filtering some of it out is a good thing. You also still get ads in this view.
  3. Best! … Close Friends: For every friend you have the option to categorize them imageas “Close Friend.” Then you can view your newsfeed for only Close Friends. This limits your view to only posts by Close Friends – no Ads!!. But, also no posts from groups or pages – just Friends.
    To add friends to your Close Friends list on a computer, you can go to their Timeline, click on the Friends button and click Close Friends.
    On a phone you go to their Timeline, tap on Friends, tap Edit Friend List and then Close Friends.

Reverting to Top Stories

No matter what type of Newsfeed you specify, realize that Top Stories is the default, and it will always return to that view. It is worthwhile then, to teach Facebook what is important to you. There are two main ways to do this:

  1. Mark the friends whose posts you want to “See First” by visiting their Timelines and clicking the box labeled “Following” and select See First.
  2. Unfollow friends whose posts you don’t want to see. Since this does not Unfriend them, you can visit their Timeline manually to see their posts when you want, or re-follow them when the political season is over!
  3. Mark posts that you don’t want to see. In the upper right corner of every post is a drop-down arrow with your options:

The more you mark the people and things you Do and Don’t want to see, the better your “Top Stories” feed will be.

To learn more about Facebook, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, and more … See our What Does This Button Do? Episode #78: Social Media with Abby Stokes.
And, while you’re at it, be sure to mark your friend list as visible to only you so they can’t be copied and spammed. Here’s a tutorial video for members: 398. Facebook – Keeping Friends Private