How-To Clean Up Your Facebook News Feed (Without Suffering the Friend's Guilt Trip)

How-To Clean Up Your Facebook News Feed (Without Suffering the Friend's Guilt Trip)

Look, we all have so much crap from our Facebook friends – from photos from their drunk party night, to videos of questionable materials. And while we all ponder the way to remove it is to simply not friend them, but you then have to endure the anger, the guilt trip and the attempts to re-add you. But there is an easier way – just hide it.

Like the old idiom says – “Out of sight, out of mind”.

Hiding the updates from ‘that’ friend

If you want to get rid of your ‘friend’ from your entire news feed, then this method is pretty simple. Hover on the person’s avatar or name, then move down to the “Friends” button and again hover on top of it. Then you’ll see the above drop down menu. Now, find the “Show in News Feed” option, and tick that off. This will make the person no longer appear in your news feed.

In some cases, we want to limit what updates we want to see from your friends. You might want to still keep in touch by reading only status messages, but don’t want to see constant spam like ‘liking’ YouTube videos, sharing those constant images that say ‘1000+ likes for (insert topic here)’ or the constant application notices created (we’ll get to the last one in the next bit).

In order to limit the updates, go to the option below – “Settings”.

You can control how many updates you can see – all updates, most updates or just the “Only Important” updates. The “Only Important” statuses are determined by Facebook based on your interactions with the friend in question.

You can also control what type of updates – see only life events, status updates, photos, games they play (and what they pushed to their wall), any music and videos-related posts, or what they have liked or commented at. The “Other Activity” includes changing their relationship status, or profile information, etc. Simply tick any of the options and customise what you want to know about that friend.

On the next page: how to stop the page spam, and get rid of those app messages…

Stopping the Page Spam

For any topic, music artist, TV show or website (like ours – just a little plug), there is certainly a Facebook page on it. Facebook has merged pages with your interests, so basically you are automatically ‘liked’ to an artist’s, author’s or TV show’s Facebook page. For me, I listed “The Daily Show” as my favourite show, and now automatically liked.

However, in some cases, there are some pages that I liked to support a cause, just keep posting status messages, sharing images and videos that I don’t really care. And you can hide them from your news feed – simply just repeat what we did for your friends: hover on the name or avatar, now hover onto the “Liked” button and go down and untick “Show in News Feed”.

And there you go, you don’t have page spam.

Get rid of the apps messages

While Spotify is alright, in many cases I really don’t care what you listen to. Yes, it’s interesting to know that some people you work with happens to listen to Justin Bieber on Spotify, but most of the time, it’s just filling up the news feed with spam. Then we also have those annoying social reader apps from Yahoo and the Washington Post – I’ll leave you with what the Oatmeal has to say about that.

And don’t get me started about Viddy – all my Facebook friends watch weird crap on that service.

It’s time to stop being notified about it. And it’s pretty simple. Hover on the message until you see an arrow on the right hand side of the item. Click, go down to the “Hide all by (app name)” and it’s gone. No more Farmville spam. No more Spotify spam. And definitely no more of that Viddy crap that happens to be attracting my age group.

On the next page: how to reverse the changes, if you ever change your mind…

Undo, Undo and Undo

But what happens if you want to readd that friend to appear on your news feed. You might now want to see notifications of a particular app since you had a change of heart about it. Or, what happens if you change your mind and want to see messages from a particular page (let’s say, based on the example above of The Daily Show, that because of the US election, you want to be notified about their sketches).

There is a way to reverse the changes. All you need to do is simply go to the left-most column and under “Favourites” just hover on the “News Feed” link. You will see a pencil icon appear – click on that icon and then go to “Edit Settings”.

A dialog box, like this below, should show up.

The dialog box will show you what friends, what apps and what pages you have decided to hide from your news feed. To unhide those posts, just click on the cross, and it will reappear. Press save and the page will refresh, and the updates will now appear.

Hopefully, these steps will help you ‘de-clutter’ your news feed and predominantly show you what you want to see as opposed to what you want to avoid.

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