We all know the frustration of seeing a spoiler from your favourite TV show or a new movie you’re still yet to see being posted on social media.
"Many of us have also experienced a time when we’ve wanted to avoid seeing posts about a certain topic altogether (such as political views and the latest Love Island drama). Fortunately, if this does apply to you, Facebook is testing a new ‘Keyword Snooze’ tool so you can avoid the posts you don’t want to see." - Debbie Aurelius, Peppermint Fish
The new feature, which stops posts containing a specified keyword from appearing in your News Feed and any Groups you are a member of, is an extension of the existing ‘Snooze’ feature. The original tool allows users to choose to stop seeing posts from a particular person, Page or Group in their News Feed for a period of 30 days.
As Facebook explains in their official announcement, Keyword Snooze can be found in the News Feed, in the ‘upper right-hand menu’ of a post. When clicked, users can choose to temporarily hide Facebook posts by their keywords, which are pulled directly from the text in the post. If you select a keyword to mute, then you won’t be able to see posts containing this keyword for the next 30 days.
Image source: Tech Crunch
According to an official spokesperson, the feature only applies to organic posts. This means that you’ll still see ads that contain a ‘snoozed’ keyword in your Facebook News Feed. As Tech Crunch points out, this ensures that the platform doesn’t lose out on revenue due to ads being blocked by certain users.
They also explain that this new tool only applies to text posts (not images), and doesn’t suggest similar keywords that you might also want to mute.
Although Facebook Keyword Snooze can be compared to Twitter’s existing ‘mute’ feature (which was rolled out in November 2016), there’s a considerable difference between the two tools, with Twitter’s allowing users to hide posts with certain keywords permanently. Twitter also enables you to mute and un-mute keywords in the Notifications tab, whereas in Facebook, you mute a keyword by accessing the Keyword Snooze feature from the menu of a post that features it.
When questioned by Tech Crunch why Keyword Snooze only ‘mutes’ keywords temporarily, Facebook said that this option may become available when the feature is rolled out beyond the current test. At this point, Keyword Snooze is only being tested by a small number of users.
The TJM take: with people losing trust in Facebook due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, ‘Keyword Snooze’ is a good move to make if they want to please users, though some may not be happy with the fact that this doesn’t apply to ads. This could be good news for advertisers, as although someone has muted a keyword to mute spoilers, they may still be interested in seeing other content about the film or TV show. However, in some cases it might mean that users are being served irrelevant adverts that they’re unlikely to click or engage with.
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