Facebook Tweaks News Feed Again - InformationWeek

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Facebook Tweaks News Feed Again

A new Facebook formula will prioritize recent posts more than relevancy. Here's a primer on what to expect.

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Facebook doesn't always show you the most current content in your news feed. Instead, its algorithm prioritizes what it thinks you'll find most relevant. That could all change with yet another round of updates designed to show you more about what's happening now.

The newest changes to its algorithm will prioritize posts based on whether the topic is trending and when -- instead of how many -- people like, share, or comment on it, Facebook said.

"We've heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment," Facebook software engineer Erich Owens and engineering manager David Vickrey said in a blog post. "There are also times when a post that is a day or two old may not be relevant to you anymore."

If a friend or a Page you are connected to posts something that others are talking about, for example, Facebook will now show you that post near the top your news feed, the social network said. This could lead to more engagement: In tests, Facebook found that this tweak led to a 6% increase in people sharing, liking, or commenting on the post.

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The second update aims to crack down on older posts that continue to resurface in your news feed. Now Facebook will prioritize recent likes, comments, and shares over the number of interactions a post gets.

"If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date," Owens and Vickrey wrote. "Based on this signal, it is more likely to appear higher in news feed earlier on and lower at a later date."

Facebook said that businesses should keep an eye on engagement metrics and expect that timely posts may see "a high velocity of engagement early on that drops off." These changes will roll out gradually, it said.

These news feed tweaks follow a round of changes from last week that updated the feedback process for irrelevant ads. Now, if you hide an ad, Facebook asks you to pick from several options to explain why: You can mark the ad as irrelevant, redundant, offensive, inappropriate, spam, or something else.

In last week's updates, Facebook said that it will place more weight on feedback from people who rarely hide ads, rather than people who routinely hide them. When it tested this, the social network found that people who rarely hid ads ended up hiding 30% fewer ads -- good news for businesses.

Facebook has also cracked down on news feed spam, including photos and videos that users repeatedly upload and posts that explicitly ask users to comment or like. "The goal of News Feed is to show the right content to the right people at the right time, whether it's from a close friend or a news source halfway across the world," Facebook engineering manager Varun Kacholia and software engineer Minwen Ji said at the time.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/30/2014 | 6:25:42 PM
Re: Top Stories - Most Recent
Same here. Usually I prefer the Most Recent view, though if I've been away from Facebook for a little while, I don't mind the Top Stories view. I just wish it wouldn't switch back and forth all the time.
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/30/2014 | 6:23:43 PM
Re: Facebook screwing with Newsfeed
That would be nice, wouldn't it? I too change the view from Top Stories to Most Recent. Sometimes it will keep that setting for a week or two, other times it will reset to Top Stories. Drives me crazy.
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2014 | 10:32:50 AM
Facebook screwing with Newsfeed
By what right does Facebook have to determine what order I see things in MY Newsfedd?

I continually have to reset it to Most Recent and THAT is what I want, period, end of discussion.

Leave my damn Newsfeed ALONE!!!!!!  Top Stories is garbage!

Facebook STOP!!!!  Let ME determine what I see!!!!
Number 6
Number 6,
User Rank: Moderator
9/22/2014 | 1:56:33 PM
One word: LIFO
You mean scrambling the time sequence is by design and not a bug?
User Rank: Ninja
9/22/2014 | 2:11:45 AM
Top Stories - Most Recent
I notice that my feed switches back and forth between "Top Stories" and "Most Recent". I find it to be quite annoying
[email protected],
User Rank: Ninja
9/21/2014 | 4:04:08 PM
I am disappointed with current newsfeed algo. There is too much about politics trending in my newsfeed and it always keeps showing me that and left me unaware about a friend who just got married, another friend who just grdauated. I still miss the old Facebook.
User Rank: Ninja
9/21/2014 | 10:32:00 AM
Re: Facebook Tweaks News Feed Again
How are people supposed to see the posts in the first place? If it's not seen, then who can like it?
User Rank: Ninja
9/20/2014 | 6:55:48 PM
Why do they need to tweak anything or create an algorithm which will sort post to what they think we want to see on top? Why not just show the most recent posts?

If you commented on something you will be notified someone else commented on it as well so I don't understand why Facebook feels the need to do this.
User Rank: Guru
9/19/2014 | 7:08:37 PM
Re: News feed censorship...
been testing the censorship control from US flags to saying Christian other terms .. makes me sick i even went to Facebook development page & going to Mark Zuckerberg exposing him on this companies policies contols and his twitter accounts ( real ones) .. been facebook member since in the college days i been thru alot of changes mostly one of the first developers to test his facebook platform then figured as concience decision apps just collect too much data and info on the users .. so i killed my gift app before gift apps were big ..
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/19/2014 | 5:35:15 PM
News feed censorship...
...is why I prefer Twitter.
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