Is Facebook Limiting Your Social Interactions?

January 10th, 2011 by

Sometime ago I noticed that the Facebook stream I saw on my smart phone had a tendency to differ from the stream that appeared on my desktop computer. At the time I thought maybe it was a glitch and the Facebook mobile app was simply grabbing older updates by accident, but my wife later tipped me off to the fact that Facebook actually limits the number of friends that display in your Live Feed.

As a Facebook user with over 400 friend, family, colleague, and professional connections on Facebook, I was a little concerned. How many conversations had I missed? How many networking opportunities had been lost? It was an unsettling feeling to say the least. Again today I was plagued by this dilemma. I saw an update on my phone earlier this evening that I had hoped to revisit tonight, but for the life of me I could not find the post anywhere within my stream and I couldn’t recall the company that had posted it. So alas, I am out that information.

How Do You Fix It?

The unfortunate reality is, you don’t. Facebook creates your Live Feed, “based on who Facebook thinks you want to hear from most”. While you can manually set the maximum number of friends to display in your feed and manually add and subtract people from your feed, I have found that certain updates are still filtered by the Facebook system even after making the needed adjustments.

To adjust your number of followers, you have to click “Edit Options” at the bottom of your Live Feed. Once you click “Edit Options” you can set the number of friends that appear in your Live Feed and make any manual adjustments to who you do or don’t want to see. One thing to remember is that as you add new friends to Facebook, you will probably need to adjust these settings to make sure that in most cases you don’t miss out on the conversations happening in your feed. Understand however, that again, in my personal experience, this is not always the case and some updates still get filtered out.

This is probably one of the more boneheaded features I have found in Facebook. While we all know its hard to keep on top of your social stream and information often falls through the cracks, I prefer to skim and miss information on my own, not at the will of what the social network thinks I want to see.

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One Response to “Is Facebook Limiting Your Social Interactions?”

  1. Anna says:

    I couldn’t agree more – this is not a feature I want “on”. I have tried to get around it, but I still miss a lot. There are people on my list I have hidden… sure… but there are others I NEVER see updates from because FB doesn’t think I want them. I try to train FB and visit the profiles of these forgotten people and make a comment or two, and then they show up in my feed. I would suggest maybe trying that on yours and confirming if it works for you. If so, we may be on to something. 🙂

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