Want a mostly unfiltered look at your Facebook News Feed? For a limited time, you can have it

news feed focusTo filter out the noise in our Facebook News Feeds, the social network has been trying to tone down the content that gets shared from its business and brand pages, and the change has gone unnoticed. Celebrities like George Takei have been vocal about the limited number of posts that are surfacing on their followers’ Facebook feeds, and you can imagine those using the site for advertising and marketing are none too pleased. Regardless of whether you’re happy Facebook’s trying to act as a filter or frustrated by the fact that you’re missing out on content, there appears to be a way for you to find what’s missing. Tom Waddington, designer and co-founder of Cut Out + Keep, discovered a hidden link [http://www.facebook.com/?sk=nf_all], which enables you to see the stream of most posts from your friends and those that you’re following without Facebook’s alterations. When we hit the link to check out how it stacked up against the feed we were seeing from Facebook proper, the difference was immediately obvious.

But don’t get used to this uncensored view. Facebook tells TechCrunch that the link was one that was used based on an earlier ranking algorithm it will probably get taken down shortly. The algorithm in question minimally filtered out news that friends and Pages were publishing, the problem being that so much information is constantly flowing into Facebook that the News Feed moves too quickly for us mere mortals to keep up with. 

Facebook’s EdgeRank system is supposed to moderate this flow of content. EdgeRank, according to Facebook, surfaces quality and important content based on variables like the popularity of the post. But the social network has offered up the “Recent” view. This allows users to view a pipeline of the latest content shared by friends and Pages, EdgeRank free. It’s worth nothing that in a side-by-side comparison with the hidden link, you’ll recognize that the “Recent” News Feed still filters out a significant number of posts that would otherwise be surfaced.

To give its users an opportunity to surface content worthy of making it to the top of your friend’s News Feed and staying there longer, Facebook began charging users to promote their posts. Promoted Post charges users $7 per post for those with fewer than 5,000 friends. Users with more than 5,000 friends and subscribers are charged approximately $49. The charges for brands to promote their content, while flexible in terms of guaranteed reach, can be as little as $5 to hundreds of dollar depending on how many users a brand is looking to reach.

With complaints by users about brands not being surfaced enough and brands with Facebook Pages cynical about paying for the service, Facebook is stuck in a Catch-22 and has a tough job of balancing its EdgeRank algorithm to please both the brands and its users.

In other Facebook news from today, Facebook confirmed with Mashable that it was testing out comment ranking on brand pages to surface the most-liked comments. With this move, coupled with threaded comments, Facebook hopes to increase engagement among followers of brand pages.

Social Media

Twitter boss again teases the idea of a button to edits tweets

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has suggested the company is still looking at options for allowing people to edit tweets. Ideas include a function that gives you up to 30 seconds to recall a tweet before it goes live on the service.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.

Feeling bored in real life? Pursue a new persona in the best open-world games

Open-world games are among the most popular in the medium. These are the best open-world games of all-time, including titles in series like Assassin's Creed, The Elder Scrolls, and The Legend of Zelda.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for February 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for February 2019.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Social Media

‘Instagram egg’ embarks on a new adventure as man behind it is unmasked

The Instagram egg made global headlines recently after it became the most-liked post on the photo-sharing app. The person behind the account has now been revealed, as has his reason for choosing an egg for the stunt.
Social Media

Periscope tool adds guests to feeds so streamers can become talk show hosts

Periscope users can now invite viewers to chime into the conversation with more than just the comment tool. By enabling the option to add guests, livestreamers can add guests to the conversation, in audio format only.

Crouching, climbing, and creeping, the perfect Instagram shot knows no bounds

Just how far will you go for the perfect Instagram? A recent survey shows just how willing Instagram users -- and Instagram husbands -- are to climb, lie down, embarrass themselves or let their food go cold for the perfect shot.
Social Media

Facebook’s long-promised ‘unsend’ feature arrives. Here’s how to use it

Send a message to the wrong person? Messenger now gives you 10 minutes to take it back. After an update beginning to roll out today, users can now retract messages if they act within the first 10 minutes after sending the message.
Social Media

YouTube boss admits even her own kids gave the ‘Rewind’ video a thumbs down

YouTube's 2018 Rewind video went down like a lead balloon at the end of last year, becoming the most disliked video in its history. And now YouTube's CEO has admitted that even her own kids thought it was pretty darn awful.
Social Media

Snapchat finally recovers from its redesign — so here comes an Android update

Snapchat's drop in users after launching a controversial redesign has finally stagnated. During the fourth quarter and 2018 earnings report, Snapchat shared that the company is rolling out an Android update designed to increase performance.
Social Media

Skype’s new ‘blur background’ feature could help keep you from blushing

Skype's latest feature for desktop lets you blur your background during video calls. The idea is that it keeps you as the focus instead of distracting others with whatever embarrassing things you might have on show behind you.
Social Media

Twitter users are declining but more people are seeing ads every day

Twitter's end-of-the-year report for 2018 is a mix of good and bad news. The good news is that more users are seeing adds daily, the metric the company will focus on moving forward. But the bad news is that monthly active users are…

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.