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5 tips for fixing your Facebook page

By Doug Gross, CNN
  • Recent changes to Facebook features have befuddled some users
  • Facebook provides ways to customize your feed, hide unwanted posts
  • New feeds give out info when you approve new friends, join groups
  • If you have more than 250 friends, some of them may be hidden

(CNN) -- With more than 300 million active users, Facebook has come a long way from its roots as a way for Harvard students to keep in touch.

Teens, grandmas, musicians and politicians have all joined those early college students, making the social-networking hub one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the Internet.

But for some users, the site's popularity -- and the periodic tinkering with "the old Facebook" -- means growing pains, too.

More friends means more people to spam up your news feed with links, photos and update boxes from the applications they use. Sure, you're happy to be in touch with Aunt Ethel -- but do you really need to know who she just murdered in Mafia Wars or which member of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials she is? (Yes, that's a real quiz.)

And then there are the changes. Last month's switch to two distinct feeds -- a "live feed" offering constant updates and a "news feed" featuring what Facebook considers highlights from your friends' activities -- still has some users baffled.

"Like you, we know it can be disruptive when things are moved around, but we hope that these changes make Facebook a more valuable experience for you," wrote Raylene Yung, a blogger for the site. "We put a lot of thought into all the changes we make to the site and do a lot of testing before releasing anything."

Many users are warming to the changes. But in the days that followed the switch, others were confused, or worse.

"I personally think facebook shouldnt [sic] have changed our news feed," one user wrote in reply to the blog post. "Why do we only get to see what fb 'thinks' we'll enjoy. Half the stuff on my live feed and news feed is stuff I dont care for. I really dont care who is friends with who and who is a fan of what."

And this from another: "I hate the new home page. The live feed has too much content, and the news feed has too little content."

Those switches also mean that more details about your activities are being broadcast to your network. Just became friends with someone? Joined a group? Commented on a discussion board? Your friends get alerts about all that.

Some friends also may have slipped off your e-radar. If you have more than 250 friends, Facebook decides which of them you really want in your feed and which you don't.

A spokeswoman told CNN the site chooses the 250 based on several factors, including who the user interacts with the most. "This 250 default limit is an attempt to show users engaging content without overwhelming them with updates from people they don't interact with on a daily basis," she said.

But the good news is that Facebook makes it possible to change just about all of those settings, and to do some basic retooling to increase privacy and get rid of annoyances.

In the attached tutorial, we outline a few fixes that will help you customize your Facebook page and improve your social-networking experience.