Jim asked: “I’m frustrated with Facebook. If I see a post that I like, and I go away and come back, a different version is on Facebook. I have trouble finding things that were posted previously. Also, why are there so many different versions of Facebook? I get one version on my smartphone, one version on my tablet, and one version on my PC. I would like all of them to be coordinated.”
Jim, we’re all frustrated with Facebook, for a variety of reasons, but you’re not alone when you complain about inconsistent experiences.
Facebook uses a handful of mysterious algorithms to determine when and where to display posts from your friends and folks you follow. It’s not an email service, so posts often appear out of order or, as you said, vanish! While there’s no way to guarantee a consistent experience every time you visit the site, there are tweaks available:
Start by clicking the ellipses — three dots — next to the “News Feed” link. You’ll find it immediately under your name on the website. “Top Stories” is checked by default. Select “Most Recent”. This will order posts by date instead of Facebook’s algorithmic criteria.
Now, click the ellipses again and select “Preferences”. Among the settings you can adjust here are prioritization of whose posts to see first — always. You’ll also be able to unfollow folks whose posts you don’t want to see in your feed at all, without the embarrassment of de-friending them. If you change your mind later, you can use this control panel to bring them back to your feed.
And yes, the changes you make via this preferences panel will propagate to your other devices, too.
Hope this helps, Jim. Facebook, you see, is like a garden: you can prune the bushes and rearrange the potted flowers, but how it grows and presents itself is often in mother nature’s (Mark Zuckerberg’s) hands.