by Surabhi Nijhawan

Through a blog post shared on Friday, Facebook revealed two new changes to its News Feed – Snooze and Take a break. The Snooze feature will allow Facebook users to hide a particular person, page or a group for 30 days, without unfollowing or unfriending them.

On the other hand, the ‘Take a break’ tool will limit interaction with exes. It will allow one to restrict what exes can see and vice versa. These new features have been created to support the wellbeing of Facebook users, read the blog post.

The News Feed is the home page for every Facebook user where one can see the new content or the update from their friends.

The company said that it looking making changes to its News Feed algorithm as it continues to promote more organic content from users. In the wake of the allegations that Facebook was used to influence the outcome of the United States elections by Russian actors, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that protecting the community is more important than focussing on profit.

In the preceding quarter, Facebook reported a 47% year-on-year (YoY) increase in total revenue to more than $10 billion in the quarter. “But none of that matters if our services are used in a way that doesn’t bring people closer together, or if the foundation of our society is undermined by foreign interference,” Zuckerberg said.

The post titled ‘Hard Questions’ emphasized Facebook’s in-house and collaborative research with academicians. In an attempt to answer whether or not social media is harmful to people, Facebook concludes this as an ‘Internet issue’ and gives ‘how one uses the technology’ as the answer.

Passive consuming vs active engagement

The company was also addressing concerns that spending too much time on social media was leading to increased depression among its users. The company posited that when people spend a lot of time passively consuming content on social networks, the felt more depressed.

“While actively interacting with people — especially sharing messages, posts and comments with close friends and reminiscing about past interactions — is linked to improvements in well-being,” the company said.

“Simply broadcasting status updates wasn’t enough; people had to interact one-on-one with others in their network. Other peer-reviewed longitudinal research and experiments have found similar positive benefits between well-being and active engagement on Facebook,” it added.

Other changes

The blog post has come only a few days after Facebook revealed that they are tweaking their News Feed to surface more video content. The company will display more videos on their News Feed so people can keep track of the new content shared by a particular publisher, a move with which they will monetize video content. This has reduced pageviews for publishers that rely on Facebook for traffic.