For those of you who still routinely scroll through your Facebook feed, the social network may have already given you more power over what topics you might stumble upon. On Wednesday, News Feed Product Manager Shruthi Muraleedharan announced in a post that Facebook is starting to test a snooze feature for keywords.
The feature — Keyword Snooze — lets users hide posts containing certain keywords or phrases for 30 days. It’s similar to the snooze Facebook rolled out in December, which allows users to mute people, groups, and pages for the same amount of time. A Facebook spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email that the company is testing this feature with “a small set of users in the US and a few other countries,” with a wider rollout planned for later this year, likely in autumn.
To temporarily mute certain words or phrases, users with early access can click on the upper right-hand menu of a post in their News Feed (the three dots) and then select the text they’d like to snooze, according to Facebook’s announcement post. Afterwards, no posts with the selected text will show up in a user’s feed for 30 days. “In other words, fewer spoilers,” Muraleedharan wrote.
Facebook told Gizmodo that it’s “looking to add in a freeform feature so people can add in their own keywords in the next few weeks as we iterate on the control.” For now, the feature doesn’t let you proactively mute keywords — a pretty weak strategy for anyone trying to get ahead of spoilers.
Overall, it’s a counterintuitive effort from a company that defaults to showing users the most relevant posts first. With its more timely feed, Twitter may be the real king of spoilers, but even if you’re not worried about spoilers, Facebook’s tool could still wind up being a decent feature for silencing any triggering political discourse. The tool seems incomplete, but it’s a step in the right direction in giving users the ability to flex more control over their feeds. If you’re really seeking enlightenment, consider a blank slate instead.