Facebook adds a Snooze button for muting people, groups and Pages for 30 days.
Facebook today is launching a new feature designed to give users more control over what content they see in their News Feed: a “Snooze” button. The option, which will become available via the top-right dropdown menu on a post, will mute content from a person, Page or group for 30 days.
The new feature can serve as a way to dial down the content you don’t want to see, without having to fully unfollow or unfriend someone.
For example, if you’ve had enough of someone’s political rants or baby photos, you can temporarily opt to see less of them in your News Feed. You could also turn off a particularly chatty Facebook friend whose continuous updates clutter your feed.
The option could be useful for people going through a breakup, too – that is, one where they’re staying connected socially, but don’t necessary want constant reminders of what an ex is up to. That’s an area Facebook has explored in the past, with the 2015 debut of tools to help you see less from former flames. However, not many people seem to know these features exist. Snooze, on the other hand, will be far more visible.
For Pages and Groups, having a Snooze button means they may be able to better retain their less active users, who may have otherwise unliked them or left the group to avoid their content.
Snooze was first spotted weeks back during testing , when different lengths of time were being offered. Today’s launch has settled on a month as the right amount of time spent on mute.
Snooze joins a series of other content controls for News Feed, like Unfollow, Hide, Report and See First, which give people more ways to customize their experience, notes Facebook.
The update, while seemingly minor, comes at a time when many people – including some of Facebook’s early founders – are questioning whether social media is having a negative impact on people and society as a whole. A network that’s too tuned to what people want to see, and provides that to them by way of algorithms, can lead to addiction and an inability to relate to different people and opinions.
Snooze, in that context, could be seen not as an empowering tool, but one that could potentially lead people to further distancing themselves from friends with different perspectives – whether political, religious, cultural or otherwise – simply because it’s something you don’t want to see.