Earlier this week, Facebook said it was changing the News Feed algorithm so that posts that you are not interested in are less likely to appear at the top. Generally, the order of your News Feed is based on how much you like, comment, click or share similar posts.
To gain a better understanding of how to improve the News Feed, Facebook said that it asks over a thousand users to rate their experience every day and provide feedback about how to improve content — which is known as Feed Quality Panel. And Facebook surveys tens of thousands of users around the world to learn more about how well their feed is being ranked. Users are asked to rank each post from one to five stars while responding to the question: “how much did you want to see this story in your News Feed?”
Facebook noticed users reported having a better News Feed experience when stories they see at the top are the ones that they are likely to rate highly if asked and likely to engage with. Going forward, the Facebook News Feed will be updated to combine those two signals. Essentially, the Facebook News Feed will begin to look at the probability that you would want to see the story at the top of your feed and the probability that you will like, comment, click or share the story. And Facebook will start ranking stories higher in the feed which it thinks users may take action on.
Facebook Pages may notice a change in engagement depending on the composition of their audience and posting activity. Facebook said that 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 Facebook in a blog post.
To override the News Feed changes, you can take advantage of the “See First” feature. When you apply “See First” to one of your friends or Page, their posts will appear at the top of your News Feed. You can also adjust your News Feed by tapping on the drop-down arrow on the desktop version of Facebook and selecting “News Feed Preferences.”
With over 1.6 billion users, Facebook celebrated its 12th anniversary on Thursday February 4th (known as Friends Day). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that social network is aiming to hit 5 billion users by the year 2030. Facebook’s user base doubled from 2011 and it is claiming that the degrees of separation between each user shrunk from 3.74 to 3.57 degrees.