Business/Finance

Facebook’s See Less: the new “feature” that DOES. NOT. WORK.

Facebook - UnshareRecently the wizards at Facebook rolled out a new feature: See Less. It allows you, allegedly, to mark certain of your friends so that fewer of their posts show up in your feed. Intended as a polite way of dialing back your exposure to overparticipaters and people that, for whatever reason, you just aren’t as interested in as others.

Great idea. Great idea. If you’re like most people, you’re probably “friends” with all kinds of people you aren’t friends with. In my case, I’m friends with people I don’t know and couldn’t pick out of a lineup and I can’t actually remember how we “met” in the first place. Which is fine – some of these people are really bright and I enjoy what they bring to my news feed. Serendipity, exposure to unexpected viewpoints – these are good things.

But.

I was pleased to hear about the new feature because there are people in my feed who needed dialing back. You know how not only do you have FB friends who are much lower priority than the rest, but sometimes, for no fucking reason you can figure out Facebook decides that said low-priority friend is the most important person in the history of your life? And all of a sudden you get everything they post in your feed? If Mark Zuckerberg had mind reading technology they’d just hot-wire every thought the person has directly onto your wall. Meanwhile, you have real friends that you hear from so rarely you wonder if they’re still there, or maybe they unfriended you. So you go check their wall and wow, just look at all that interesting stuff that Facebook has decided to hide from you.

So I immediately began making use of the See Less feature. There’s one person in particular, the S.O. of someone I used to know, who friended me for no obvious reason other than hey, my S.O. knows this person sort of. And holy fuck, was this person’s feed all up in my grille with stuff I could not possibly care less about.

I used the See Less. It “works” like this. Say I’m sick of Dr. Denny. (I’m not – I love Denny – but let’s use him as an example so as to protect the feelings of the people I’m actually talking about.) I just click on that little icon to the right, then “I don’t want to see this,” then it gives me an option to see fewer posts from him or to unfollow him altogether.

Facebook See Less

Nothing happened. I used it again, Nada. So I kept using it. In total I probably wound up telling FB I wanted to see less of this person more than 10 times, to no effect. Finally I just unfollowed.

Facebook responded by selecting another friend with not much interesting to say and installing him/her as the new alpha dog in my feed. At this point I have now used the See Less feature at least 20 times and if anything I’m seeing more from this person.

What the fucking fuckety fuck?

All of which leads me to the following:

1: WHY would Facebook do this? See Less is a great idea. Certainly they could make it work. So what gives? Why would they tease us? Is this some new kind of unethical test they’re running?

2: Have any of you seen the same thing or is it just me that the feature doesn’t work for?

3: Fuck you, Facebook. Just fuck you. How about this. How about you develop a feature that lets me assign each of my friends a rating from 1-5. A 5 means I want to see most of what they post. A 1 means I don’t want to hear from them unless they’re on fire. And maybe not even then. If you can’t make that work then maybe we should all have stuck with MySpace.

Facebook has the integrity of a hyena in heat, so who the hell knows what’s going on here. But it’s annoying as hell and, from a business operations perspective, utterly inexcusable.

I have no illusions about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, or my relationship with them. They’re not here for me, I’m here to be pimped to their advertisers. But the more you antagonize us, the less usable and friendly your product is, the more susceptible you become to competition.

All I ask is that when you deploy a feature, you make sure that it works.

14 replies »

  1. Crushed. Crushed am I. Oh, well.

    I’ve noticed the same thing. FB seems compelled to replace a “see less” with a “see much more.” It’s irritating as hell.

  2. I found this piece to be an affront to horny Hyaenidae everywhere. That said, I agree entirely. The only way I’ve found to subdue hyperposters is to unfollow them and then visit their pages at my occasional leisure.

    Facebook should be fun and entertaining and educational. When it strays turn the son of a bitch off. That’s my elder wisdom.

    Big Chief Limping Lizard

  3. Oh, hey. I got a ping from FB that you’ve seelessed me. Gee. Thanks 😛 Just kidding, but that’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t surprise me from them, either. When they can’t get simple functions right, how long before they screw up and start sending see less/unfriend notifications? Then the drama can get really thick.

  4. It’s not just you. I came here via Google, keywords being “facebook see less doesnt work”. I also agree of anything I’m now seeing every single post by those I wanted to see less from. It’s coming close to ruining my Facebook as a whole.

  5. I fucking hate this. Tried the same hundreds of times, on one particular person, I do not want to unfollow – but “see less” is almost a must. Yesterday, I clicked on an unwanted photo of her – hide, see less, you know the drill… Today, I got THE SAME picture in news feed, saying that she COMMENTED on a photo of her. Why the fuck would I care, if I clicked on that particular picture, saying that not only I don’t want to see that one, but also much less of the kind.

    Long story short – it doesn’t work and they should remove it.

  6. I have clicked on “see less from” at least 100 times in the past two weeks on postings from one particular group. Of course, idiot fucking Facebook just keeps showing me more from them. Fuck you, Facebook. Your programmers suck beyond words.

  7. i tried it. i guess if you do this you wont see any likes or comments of these people but it keeps showing you the all post nothing changes. if you dont want to see the posts then you need to unfollow.

  8. Same here. Does not work. Period.

    Oh, and just this morning went to comment on a website that was talking about the Apple vs FBI case – of course in order to comment I had to login via Facebook and it gave me the warning it’d access my public profile to which I stupidly agreed to. Not 15 fucking minutes later I started getting phising emails from a pretend Apple address saying my iCloud had been compromised and to click on a link to re-enter all my information.

    FUCK YOU FACEBOOK!

  9. It’s now quite a long time since you’ve written this article, and I’ve used the “see less” feature about 20 times per day since it came out. I use it ANY time I see a post where someone “liked” or “commented” because I *only* ever want to see things that people intentionally share. My impression is that, if I use the feature in this way, it does nothing. I have a friend who likes literally every status that Gary Johnson makes, and FB tells me about it. I have clicked “see less from” on every post every day for months, and it still shows me every time this friend likes the posts.

  10. It doesn’t work at all. Very annoying. I keep selecting for one person in my feed who posts 5x a day and every one of his posts still shows up. I don’t want to unfollow but I guess I have to.

    Another annoying feature — why do I get things in my feed that are just when my friends “like” the public status of one of their friends (that I don’t know)? HOW STUPID IS THAT!?! Why do I care about the status of someone I don’t know? That’s like 25% of my feed.

  11. 2 years later – still doesn´t work. Really annoying and strange. There is a guy who posts non-stop about everything he thinks about and I see all of it in my feed, it´s overwhelming and I´ve tried to use “see less” feature many times but it really seems to be “see more” feature instead. I don ´t want to completely unfollow or unfriend him because we have many common friends and sometimes it´s fun to participate in conversations – but not 100 times a day when I hardly ever see anyone elses posts! I think I just have to unfollow and visit hom occasionally then.
    But it would be interesting to know why they have this feature (that doen´t work for years already) and surely many people have complained and they must know this. What use could it be?
    Is it possible that some people actually pay to boost their account or something?

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