(New York Times) – A perennial complaint from Facebook users is that they don’t have much control over what appears in their news feed, the main flow of posts on their Facebook home page or app screen. The social network’s mysterious computer algorithm analyzes thousands of signals, then spits out what it thinks you want to see based on the kinds of posts you have liked in the past and who you tend to interact with or ignore on the service.
On Thursday, Facebook announced a set of features that will give each person more control over what he or she wants to see. In essence, you get to reprogram the algorithm.
The most important new control allows you to tell Facebook that certain friends and pages — your spouse, your best friend, your child’s school, or hey, your favorite New York-based news organization — are so important to you that you want to see everything that they post. Facebook will then put those posts at the top of your feed.
“It’s really for the things you care about most,” said Adam Mosseri, the Facebook product management director who oversees the news feed. One of his colleagues, for example, loves Humans of New York and has put that page on his “see first” list.