Jul 05, 2018

Facebook's New 'Keyword Snooze' Feature

Facebook is trying to give users more control over the content they see in their News Feed. Today, Facebook announced it is testing a new “Keyword Snooze” feature that will allow users to snooze posts with selected keywords or phrases for a 30-day period.
While organic content from friends, Pages and Groups will be impacted, Facebook confirmed that the Keyword Snooze feature will not apply to ads in the News Feed.

Since this is still in testing mode, not all users are able to snooze keywords right now. Per the announcement, those who have access to the option will find it in the upper right-hand menu of a post (where the three dots are located). The feature sounds a lot like Twitter’s “muted words” option — but on Facebook, it will only last 30 days. For some time now, users have had the option to hide posts from individuals and publishers and “snooze” people for 30 days. This is the first time Facebook has played around with letting users hide content that includes specific words or phrases.

Facebook is promoting the feature as a way to prevent TV show, film or sporting event spoilers, but, with the upcoming elections looming, there’s a good chance many will be snoozing more politically charged keywords versus trying to hide “Antman and the Wasp” spoilers.
To snooze a keyword, you first have to find a post that includes it. That kind of defeats the whole purpose, as you might run into the spoiler you didn’t want to see. But for this Facebook is said to be adding a preemptive snooze option in the next few weeks, potentially in News Feed Preferences. Facebook is also considering a recurring snooze list so you could easily re-enable hiding your favorite sports team before any game you’ll have to watch on delay.

For now, though, when you see the word, you can hit the drop-down arrow on the post, which will reveal an option to “snooze keywords in this post.” Tapping that reveals a list of nouns from the post you might want to nix, without common words like “the” in the way. So if you used the feature on a post that said “England won its World Cup game against Tunisia! Yes!” the feature would pull out “World Cup,” “England,” and “Tunisia.” Select all that you want to snooze, and posts containing them will be hidden for a month. Currently, the feature only works on text, not images, and won’t suggest synonyms you might want to snooze as well.

The option applies to any organic content, but you can’t block ads with it, so if you snoozed “Deadpool” you wouldn’t see posts from friends about the movie but still might see ads to buy tickets. Facebook’s excuse for this is that ads belong to “a separate team, separate algorithm,” but surely it just doesn’t want to open itself up to users mass-blocking its revenue driver.


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