We’ve all been there. We’re scrolling through our social media feeds after a busy day and then… we see it. Some thoughtless cretin we call “friend” just couldn’t wait to wax philosophical about the big plot twist from this week’s ‘Westworld’. Which of course you missed because… well, that’s not really the point, is it?
Okay, maybe it’s not the end of the world, but still. It’d be nice if we didn’t all have to beg our friends and followers not to post spoilers every time a new season of ‘Game of Thrones‘ airs. Well, some things might never change. Human nature and all that. But that doesn’t mean we can’t work around it! And that’s where Facebook comes in.
The social media giant has begun testing a new feature called “Keyword Snooze,” which will allow users to block stories containing a particular keyword from their news feed. Essentially, the feature allows you to pause posts containing a specific keyword. So if you’re going to be travelling when ‘Star Wars: Episode IX‘ hits and you don’t want the end of the trilogy spoiled? Well, you can block any post that mentions the topic. And it’s not just spoilers. Are you sick of your friends’ baby pictures? Will your head explode if you have to wade through one more uninformed rant about immigration? Snooze those keywords!
Of course, things are still being fine-tuned. Currently, there is no option to permanently block a keyword, with the feature functioning (as the name implies) more like the snooze button on an alarm clock. As it stands, stories containing the blocked keywords are snoozed for thirty days, after which they will return to your news feed. There are other limits as well. There is no pre-emptive snooze option as of this writing (as in, if you want to avoid ‘Star Wars’ spoilers, you first have to find a post that mentions ‘Star Wars’), though as reported by TechCrunch, that feature is being considered for future updates, should Keyword Snooze prove successful. Additionally, it only works on text, not images, so you’d better hope those spoilers don’t come in the form of memes! And finally, it won’t apply to ads. That may be the farthest thing from surprising, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
The feature is being rolled out to select users beginning today and is expected to reach a test market of a few million users in the coming weeks.