News feed getting too crowded? Facebook’s Snooze feature may help clean it up

Facebook rolls out Snooze feature that lets users mute their friends

Don’t have the pluck to unfriend folks on Facebook, but don’t have the patience for their drivel, either? There may be a happy in-between that will save your sanity and your sensibilities. After testing the feature in September, Facebook is now rolling out a snooze button — but instead of helping you ignore your alarm clock for seven minutes of bliss, Facebook snooze temporarily mutes a friend from your news feed.

While you can already permanently unfollow folks on Facebook without defriending them altogether, snooze gives users even more control over their news feeds by adding an additional layer of customization. After all, your annoying friend isn’t always annoying, so while you may not have the energy to deal with his or her incessant posts during the middle of your finals period, you may be back on board once vacation starts.

Snooze works with friends as well as Pages and Groups. Whoever you decide to snooze, they won’t get a notification that alerts them to their temporary absence from your news feed. You, however, will get a notification when that snooze is about to go off, in case you want to hit that snooze button again. While the feature automatically reinstates those users back into your life after 30 days, you can also go in and unsnooze at any time, Facebook says.

As the feature rolls out, users can access it by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of a Facebook post on desktop, and clicking the new “Snooze” option. While the initial test allowed users to set a time frame for that snooze, the feature is rolling out as an option to temporarily stave off those posts for 30 days; the tool isn’t rolling out with the options to customize.

Now, if users find that their feeds are getting just a bit too cluttered, they don’t have to take any drastic, permanent measures. They can simply take a little bit of time off. The tool could be useful for that friend who’s temporarily oversharing because of a trip or a new pet.

“Controls for your News Feed aren’t new,” the company said in the announcement. “With features like Unfollow, Hide, Report, and See First, we’ve consistently worked toward helping people tailor their News Feed experience, so the time they spend on Facebook is time well spent. As News Feed evolves, we’ll continue to provide easy-to-use tools to give you the most personalized experience possible every time you visit Facebook.”

 Updated on December 15 to reflect Facebook’s official announcement, moving the feature out of testing.