I noticed something odd while browsing Facebook on my phone last night. Some of my notifications were labeled ‘suggested’ and were accompanied by a star to highlight the text.
That’s weird. What does a suggested notification even mean? After all, opening up Facebook on the desktop showed me the same notifications without any special designation or fancy stars.
I contacted Facebook and it told me:
We’re piloting a way to highlight notifications you might find most useful in the Facebook app.
Basically, Facebook is guesstimating which notifications it thinks I care more to see. Twitter also began testing a similar feature in September, meant for popular folks who receive more notifications than your average tweeting Joe.
I don’t really think I receive enough notifications for this to be particularly helpful, and as the ‘suggested’ text also removes the post time, it’s a little annoying.
It’s obviously an early test of the feature, but so far I’m not convinced of its efficacy. Almost all of my notifications were highlighted, including some I didn’t care about. On the other hand, at least the ones that weren’t marked were genuinely things I would probably never click on in the first place.
There also doesn’t seem to be a way to turn off the feature at the moment, although it only shows up on my Android device.
Still, it might come in handy if you’re something of a gregarious social media guru, the kind with thousands of friends who might miss an important notification amidst a sea of candy crush requests.