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July 24, 2013

Facebook to Seek More Feedback on Members’ ‘Dislikes’

New Tool Will Allow Social Network to Discover Why Users Hide Items From News Feed

Facebook has reams of data on what its members ‘like’ — now the social network wants to discover why its users dislike items enough to banish them from their news feeds.

In a bid to keep its users engaged, Facebook is on a mission to find out what its members find boring or even annoying and, to do just that, the social network will soon enable its members to declare their motivation for hiding an ad, picture, or friend status update, according to ABC News.

“Over the next few months what you will see from us is more on why people like and don’t like certain things in their feed,” Facebook product manager for ads Fidji Simo was quoted by ABC News. “We are planning to refine those so users can tell us exactly the reasons they are hiding that piece of content.”

facebook newsfeed1

Facebook news feed

Although Simo did not go into details about the implementation of the new tool, she said Facebook would soon be testing menu options and users can expect to see some of the changes in the next three to four months. The changes, she said, will allow users to make clear if they have been offended by items in their news feeds or if they simply found certain posts uninteresting.

“If a lot of people start reporting that something is offensive, it’s something we would probably not show to a lot more users,” she told ABC, adding that Facebook could use the feedback to better choose ads that run with posts.

It is possible the new feature will resemble a current Facebook tool for hiding ads that appears on the right-hand side of the page. The tool asks users their reason for hiding an ad and offers a list of options such as uninteresting, misleading, sexually explicit, offensive, or repetitive.