To allow users to avoid being annoyed by friends and family members that they’ve friended on the platform, Facebook is now working on a new ‘unfollow’ button.
Your friends and family; you may love them and care about them with the force of a hurricane’s wind and you may even tell them that when you see them in person or give them a phone call. However, for as much as you love the people in your life, the place where you may not want to hear what they have to say is Facebook. Friending people on Facebook may give you an insight into their lives that you just didn’t want. Perhaps you’d like to avoid hearing about what Uncle Jim had for lunch, or you’re fed up of Cousin Jean’s endless posts of baby pictures. It’s not your fault and you might even want to stay friends with them on the site and it’s for that reason that Facebook are working on an ‘unfollow’ button.
The process of avoiding what said friends and family have to say on Facebook can be a thorny one, as unfriending them makes future family events awkward and could see you losing a friend in real life as well as online. The unfollow button that Facebook have announced that they’re working on works quite a bit like the ‘hide all’ button that could previously be seen on profiles. Actually, it works exactly like it, with all that’s really being changed is the wording, in part thanks to terminology made popular by Twitter and Instagram. What the unfollow button does is remove all of the person or company’s posts from your timeline, meaning that you can happily scroll along without hearing about their lives or business deals, and they’ll be none the wiser.
A Facebook spokesperson had this to say, “The goal of this change is to help people curate their News Feed and see more of the content that they care about,” so with that explanation, it seems that it’s going to be a very useful solution to a much suffered problem. The current date for a full roll out of the unfollow button is unclear, but you can expect it to show up on the site at some point soon.