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Facebook adds Snooze button

Facebook adds Snooze button

Social media site Facebook is testing out a feature that will help users avoid some of the more annoying friends they are connected to on the site.

Facebook is testing the Snooze button, which would allow users to temporarily unfollow the posts and activity of friends, pages and groups for periods of a day, a week or a month. This would allow users to deter from permanently unliking, unfollowing and unfriending people and pages on the social platform, which in certain circumstances may be a harsh end result.

The feature could be useful for hiding that friend who is on holiday for a week and is bombarding their account with endless holiday photos and check-ins, or to avoid the barrage of last minute posts leading up to a business’ launch night.

TechCrunch reports that the feature first started appearing on the desktop version of the site towards the end of last week.

The Snooze button is a useful tool for allowing users to maintain some control over what they see appearing in their newsfeeds without having to sever any connections and relationships they may have in the real world. Facebook has commented on this, saying it is testing this to give users the chance to keep connected with the stories they find to be the most relevant to them, thus enhancing the user experience.

To use the button, tap on the dropdown arrow in the top right hand corner of the profile of person they wish to snooze. Instead of there just being the unfollow option, users are now presented with the option “Unfollow or Snooze”. They can then select this option and choose whether they unfollow that person or page or whether they just want to snooze them for a certain period of time.

For some time, the social giant has been figuring out the best way to offer users the chance to control what they see in their news feeds. From 2012-2014, there was the “See Less” option, but this was ultimately ditched as it believed it was confusing users, as they were still seeing content being posted by that account, so it was unclear whether the button did anything. In 2014, it introduced the Unfollow button, which lets a user hide the content of an account without blocking or unfriending it.

This feature could be a saviour for some businesses, as it may prompt a user who believes the company is oversharing content to snooze rather than unlike the page altogether.

It is unclear whether the test will be carried out with a larger sample, or whether it will permanently roll out, but it could be used as an indicator to Facebook’s algorithms that a user wants to see less of certain accounts appearing in their news feeds.

Alan Littler

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