LOS ANGELES — Facebook would prefer that you don’t unfriend your old high school buddies every time they say something you disagree with. That’s why the company released a new feature Friday that makes it possible to temporarily mute people without banning them altogether.
Facebook’s new snooze button temporarily mutes people, pages or groups for 30 days, ensuring that none of their posts will show up in your newsfeed during that time. People you mute this way won’t get notified of it, and users will get a notification once a mute is about to expire, with the option to get some peace of mind for another 30 days.
“Seeing too many photos of your uncle’s new cat? Is your friend tempting you with endless photos of ramen on her Japan trip? It turns out, you’re not alone,” wrote Facebook product manager Shruthi Muraleedharan in an announcement blog post.
While Facebook’s blog post focused on muting individuals, it’s notable that the feature is being extended to pages and groups as well. That way, Facebook doesn’t just appease brands who may otherwise see people abandon their Facebook pages.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives have also been talking a lot about building and connecting communities on Facebook in recent months. As the company’s focus shifts towards group networking, it has to figure out how to make those groups work with its newsfeed, which was originally built for following updates from individuals. A mute function may be just what users need to participate in groups without being overwhelmed by them.