How to modify your Facebook news feed

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 6, 2014
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Facebook

I do have a Facebook account, but only use it sporadically to see what is going on. I'm not really active on the site, don't play games, don't use chat that often, and use it mostly to manage pages that I administrate.

Anyway, the Facebook news feed provides you with information that your friends post on the site. From status updates to pictures or questions, it is all there in chronological order.

The news feed does not display all information, likes or comments that friends posted on the site are for instance not included here. This is likely done to reduce the number of new items of the news feed. It is still possible to access those in the sidebar.

What many users of the social networking site may not know is that Facebook alters the news feed by default so that the information are not displayed in chronological order.

It can be configured in two ways. The first, called top stories, displays select news at the top. This is the default mode, and Facebook's algorithm selects stories based on likes, comments and other factors such as the type of post or the friend who posted the news automatically.

You can switch that to recent stories, which is a true chronological account of new stories posted by your Facebook friends.

The option to do so is displayed right on the news feed page, but it is not highlighted in any way which means that it can be easily ignored.

facebook news feed

Here is what you need to do:

Open your news feed on the website. You see a small down arrow icon next to news feed in the sidebar. Click on that, and select most recent from the context menu.

This switches to a chronological display of stories on the site. Once you have made the switch, you a back to top stories link is displayed at the top at all times that you can use to switch back to top stories.

Friends news feeds


There is another option to change what is being displayed to you on your news feed. This one uses friend groups. You find the friends listing in the left sidebar, and when you click on it, you are taken to a page that lists all groups that are available to you. Most are created by Facebook automatically based on information such as your location or relationships.

You can create your own friends group if you want, for instance all friends from school or work, and display those special news feeds on Facebook.

You can add groups to the favorites so that they are displayed on the left sidebar directly. To do so click on the edit icon on the right side on the friends page and select the add to favorites option there.


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  1. Teiji said on April 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Facebook with Most Recent sort:

    Just bookmark it and open that URL instead of :)

    1. Lidia B said on April 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Do you have an address that would work just for pages feed and not pages AND friends?
      Thank you!

  2. Chris said on April 6, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Information IS… Look the word up in a dictionary — singular. If you’re going to be a professional (or semi-professional) writer, subject-verb agreement would be an excellent skill to cultivate.

  3. Blue said on April 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    As with before the GUI change, after we change it to our preferred selection, it reverts once we log off, the settings do not keep, in any browser I’ve tried it from (Chrome, Firefox & Nightly, MSIE), so I basically ignore it now. I’ll do a general scroll through then dump the rest. Before we used to be able to edit the specific feeds from the various sites we, “Like”, and the friends we have. We could specify the types of shared events our friends wish to share. No longer!

    We now must edit the specific post they decide to share with us. We are given very limited options now. Unfollow the site your friend is trying to share, Unfollow the friend, report to Facebook, or even Unfriend the person from each and every post. From their homepage we can only toggle follow on/off, no more specific feeds, though it seems to be using some of the old filters I ticked off before like friends game feeds which in my opinion is blatant spam.

    Contact Facebook for complaints or suggestions to bring the old share menu back, or at least add the old criteria to the new one. I want to hear my friends life stories, but I don’t want to see and share every damn funny or unfunny picture they ignorantly click, “share”, on, nor do I want to see every damn game advertisement on who scored what or who is sharing what game bonus. I cut Facebook games out of my life more than two years ago and I am not going back.

    1. Pants said on April 7, 2014 at 12:22 am

      I emailed Martin an infographic type how-to I mocked up a year or so ago. Hope he sees it.

      For the last 2 years (or slightly less), I have seen ALL the posts (not just select ones) from ALL the people/bands/artists/whatever I wish, and always in perfect chronological order.

      I’m pretty simple when it comes to FB – I simply use it to follow 100+ bands. So I only need one “feed”. I created a CUSTOM LIST – I called it “Everything”. There is an option to add “Friends” (and you can toggle this on/off. I then added all the bands/artists I follow (this is not friends, but things I follow) from the “Add to List” option out the side. There’s a knack to doing it without being redirected – as you type, the names of who you like/follow appear in a dropdown menu – if you click on a dropdown item, it will add them to your list but also redirect the page you are on – but if you type the name in full and hit your Enter key – it just adds them. Then start typing the next one – the dropdown will only display those you follow who are NOT on your custom list, so its pretty quick to work your way thru them all – i.e type an “a”, if nothing, backspace, type a “b” .. its basically looking them all up for you)

      The only drawback to this is that as I decide to follow a new artist, I need to remember to add them to my custom feed as well. Since I only have the one, its not so bad – but imagine if you had 4 or 5 custom feeds.

      I then set my FB speed dial to my custom “Everything” list .. and thats all I go see – a perfectly ordered, nothing missed feed :).

      PS: no ads, related stories etc etc etc here – I have my own userstyle script that cleans up anything that gets thru my local proxy, adblocker, etc

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