Should Facebook Have a Temporary Unfollow Feature?

Although Facebook is a great place to catch up with friends and family, it can also be a bit exhausting to deal with the intensity it sometimes brings with it. Since people can socialize about virtually everything, they actually might do just that, making some discussions a bit annoying. They can clutter your news feed and (dare I say) annoy you a bit. On 14 September 2017, TechCrunch noticed a snooze feature on Facebook that allows you to temporarily eliminate a person’s or page’s posts on your news feed. Hype aside, this feature might actually prove useful in the long term.

How the Feature Works


Have you ever had someone post a bunch of stuff on your news feed that makes you grind your teeth at times? You usually have two options: You can either block the person (which effectively removes them as your friend) or permanently unfollow them (which means you’ve muted the person for good from your news feed). There is no in-between. You either outright remove their presence or swallow it until the saga is over.

Facebook read between the lines and decided to begin testing a feature that would make it possible for you to temporarily mute someone from your news feed just as you would from their Messenger platform. You have the option of determining the length of this “time-out period” which would fall anywhere between just twenty-four hours and thirty days for the most extreme cases. Once that period is over, you’ll see that person’s posts on your news feed again. You could also do this to a page that you just don’t feel like following for the time being.

So far there’s no comment as to whether you could see how many temporary unfollows you have from a page’s administration panel (which could prove useful when you’re trying to gauge how unpopular your posts are with your audience). Also, there’s no word as to whether this feature is a permanent addition to Facebook. Whether it should be or not depends on how useful it is to users on the platform.

Is There Some Merit to It?


Until recently it seemed sufficient to just scroll over posts one would find annoying, but the snooze feature that Facebook has just recently debuted might actually prove to be useful for some who wish to keep their news feed “clean.”

Anyone who uses Facebook frequently can tell stories about that one time their friend started going on somewhat unnerving rants for a short period of time until they cooled down. Things happen in people’s lives that sometimes prompts them to use social media as an outlet for their frustrations. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone on their friend list wants to be an audience to these rants.

Usually these outbursts cool down after a certain period of time. Having the option to “snooze” the person for a couple of days might actually be useful for someone who doesn’t want to burn a bridge with the individual but at the same time would prefer not to see these ramblings. For some people simply scrolling past the posts might be insufficient, and this presents a good compromise that doesn’t require them to block another person for what would seem like a petty reason.

Do you think you might end up using this feature? Tell us why in a comment!

Miguel Leiva-Gomez
Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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