Facebook Tweaks News Feed to Show You More Relevant Stories

Facebook Tweaks News Feed to Show You More Relevant Stories
Facebook's News Feed has for years been showing posts that are supposed to be the most meaningful to users. The News Feed is said to show the most relevant story at the top which is determined by several factors (called signals by Facebook) including past user actions, such as - liking, clicking, commenting, or sharing a post. Unfortunately, this also means many posts by friends, as well as by Groups and Pages that users follow or subscribe to, are often sidelined. Facebook, in an effort to improve News Feed experience of users when the posts that appear at the top of the feed are more likely to be interesting, on Tuesday announced changes to its News Feed algorithm.

Facebook says it is tweaking the News Feed to have more stories that are likely to be rated high by the user if asked and are likely to engage with. According to the company, it took feedback from a thousand people to rate their experience every day and suggest to Facebook how they can improve the content users see when they check the social network.

In an official post, Facebook Software Engineers Cheng Zhang and Si Chen said, "We are making an update to News Feed that combines these two signals. News Feed will begin to look at both the probability that you would want to see the story at the top of your feed and the probability that you will like, comment on, click or share a story. We will rank stories higher in feed which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see near the top of their News Feed."

The company also detailed that the impact of these changes on a story's distribution will vary depending on the composition of users audience and posting activity. Facebook, which now has nearly 1.6 billion monthly visitors, however added that in general this update should not impact reach or referral traffic meaningfully for the majority of Pages.

"Some Pages may see some increases in referral traffic, and some Pages may see some declines in referral traffic. Pages might see some declines in referral traffic if the rate at which their stories are clicked on does not match how much people report wanting to see those stories near the top of their News Feed. This update helps rebalance those two factors, so people are seeing relevant stories to them," said Zhang and Chen.

This is not the first time that Facebook is making changes to its algorithm for News Feed. The social giant had in past tweaked its News Feed to show more timely stories from Friends and Pages. Last month, Facebook was reported to be testing multiple News Feeds on mobile devices which would appear alongside the single News Feed format that appears currently.

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