Facebook is once again changing the algorithm of the news feed after only two months after deciding to give posts from friends a higher chance of appearing in a user’s news feed rather than media outlets and other pages. This new update aims to give people access to more meaningful content tailored to their interests and also attempts to filter out clickbait posts.
According to a recent announcement from Facebook, they will deploy an improved ranking signal for stories. This signal will help the news feed algorithm figure out what posts users think are most ‘informative’ so they will be placed higher in the news feed and similar posts will have a higher chance of showing up as well.
At this point in its evolution, Facebook has finally realized that the interests of an immense userbase which is continually growing cannot be fulfilled by only a single algorithm that governs a unitary news feed. Thus, it has already begun to gather feedback from a huge number of users for its Feed Quality Program. This data will be compared with individual user data, and the result will allow Facebook to show you posts suited to your interests, that are enlightening, newsworthy and that can engage you in broader discussions.
According to Facebook, because people have a subjective view of what they consider to be informative, the news feeds of different people will be as varied as their interests. The content you will see will be affected by your activity on the platform. If you like, comment and share a certain type of articles and posts then your news feed will show that kind of content more often.
One argument against this type of customization of the news feed is that by offering users only what they already are interested in, Facebook will diminish their chances of finding something new that could also be informative. This could lead people in developing a confirmation basis, only encountering content that matches your world view without any opposing views. A diverse news feed on Facebook could promote a better and more nuanced understanding of the world.
Besides the change to remove clickbait articles as much as possible, the new updated algorithm won’t lead to a drastic change as it mostly tries to reorder stories that are already good enough to appear on your news feed.
According to Facebook:
“We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in the news feed. Some pages might see a small increase in referral traffic, and others might see minor decreases.”
What do you think about the new changes to Facebook?
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