Westworld spoilers, wedding season drama, and complaints involving “first world problems” all fall into the same category of posts we'd rather avoid on Facebook. They’re obnoxious, full of unnecessary exaggeration, and, when it comes to ruining pop culture moments — lethal.
In the past, the only alternative to avoiding spoilers on your News Feed was to avoid Facebook altogether. As for wedding season drama or “first world problems”, the lone option — unfriending anyone who tends to mention either on a regular basis — felt like overkill. Now, Facebook is starting to roll out a new approach to handling the posts you don’t want to see: A way to “snooze” specific keywords.
Here’s how it works: When you see a post that mentions something you don’t want to come across while scrolling — for example, the name of a show or movie — you can tap the menu icon in the upper right-hand corner and select “snooze keywords in this post.” Snoozing an individual keyword will prevent any posts with that keyword from appearing on your News Feed for 30 days.
While this function is certainly useful, there are a number of features missing from the test iteration the company is releasing today to a select group of users. For one, the keywords are auto-populated and you cannot write your own at the moment, although Facebook says it is looking into ways to customise this in future versions. Second, you need to see a post mentioning the keyword in order to hide it from your News Feed. This means you cannot proactively hide spoilers for Westworld. Third, the initial rollout of the feature will not include a way to un-snooze keywords. So, when you’re prepared to start reading posts about Westworld again, you’ll need to wait until your 30 days are up.
Keyword snooze helps give users some much-desired control over their News Feeds, but at first glance the feature feels half-baked. Granted, it is still in test phase, but for it to be fully effective there's more work that needs to be done.