Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) rolled out Facebook Reels to U.S. users in 2021 and to all users globally earlier this year. That means that you've probably started seeing more Facebook Reels on your Facebook Feed, Stories, and Watch tab.
With the popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels, this new feature is meant to help Facebook users discover similar content within the Facebook app. If you're not a fan of Facebook Reels, though, it can be frustrating to have them suddenly filling up your newsfeed.
So, is there a way to turn off Facebook Reels or remove them from your feed?
Unfortunately, as of the writing of this post, the answer is "not really." At least not for mobile app users.
That doesn't mean there aren't some steps you can take to make Facebook Reels less distracting to your Facebook browsing experience, though!
- Use a web browser instead of the app
- Hide Reels when you see them in your feed
- Turn off autoplay for Reels in your feed
Keep reading for more detail on how to see fewer Facebook Reels.
Use a Web Browser to Stop Seeing Facebook Reels
In the Facebook app, recommended content is automatically pushed to your newsfeed, including Reels. If you want to keep your Facebook experience about updates and photos from friends and family, we recommend using Facebook for desktop or through the Safari or Chrome mobile browsers instead.
Facebook Reels are still accessible from your browser, of course. They just won't appear alongside other posts from friends and pages that you follow. You can still watch Facebook Reels in the Watch tab and you'll see some recommended Facebook Reels in a scrollable carousel format in your feed, like this one:
Note: Using the mobile web version of Facebook you will lose some of the functionality of the app. That's true of most websites with mobile apps, because of course they want you to download the app. But if there's some feature in the app that you're not a fan of, like Facebook Reels or Twitter Spaces, the trade off of a slightly less optimized experience may be worth it for you.
How to Hide Facebook Reels from Your Feed
Another way to remove Facebook Reels from your newsfeed, or at least see fewer Reels, is by telling Facebook what you want. We don't mean tweeting at Facebook or yelling at a customer support agent. No, there's an in-app way to report content you don't want to see.
You can use this "Hide" function when Reels come across your newsfeed. Whether it's the carousel preview that we mentioned above or a single Reel you don't want to see, tap the three dot menu in the upper right hand corner of the post. This will provide you with the option to "Hide," aka "See fewer posts like this."
Hiding Facebooks Reels does two things: 1) It immediately hides that specific post from your Feed so you won't see it anymore. 2) It tells the Facebook algorithm not to show you similar posts in future.
Of course, that's not a guarantee that you won't see Facebook Reels ever again — Facebook, like all social media platforms, pushes users to adopt new formats and prioritizes those new formats in the algorithm. However, using this feature should have you seeing fewer Facebook Reels over time.
Pro tip: The "Hide" feature is an option on all Facebook posts. If you don't like the kind of content that's being recommended to you, you can let Facebook know and help better tailor your newsfeed to your interests.
How to Turn Off Autoplay for Facebook Reels
This tip won't remove Facebook Reels from your feed, but it will make them a lot less distracting! The default setting in the Facebook app is for all videos in your newsfeed to autoplay. We've all been there — thinking we were stealthily browsing and then, bam!, a video starts playing, audio at full volume.
You don't have to live like that anymore. There's a better way.
To turn off autoplay on Facebook Reels, navigate to the Menu tab in the app. This will take you to your profile settings and preferences menu. Tap the settings gear in the upper right hand corner.
Scroll down to the "Media" button under Preferences. From here, check the bubble next to "Never Autoplay Videos" and make sure "Videos Start with Sound" is toggled off.
And that's it! With those settings enabled, Facebook Reels will no longer automatically play as you scroll your newsfeed. This will make them less distracting to your overall Facebook experience and hopefully increase your stealth scrolling game.
Whether it's because you find them distracting, are tired of seeing reposted TikToks from three months ago, or just prefer to consume your short-form vertical video content elsewhere, using any or all of these tips should keep your newsfeed mostly free of Facebook Reels.
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