The two new algorithm updates aim to bring more of what people love to their news feeds.
This week (16 May 2019), Facebook announced it was releasing two new updates to its algorithms in an effort to improve the content displayed to its users.
The statement, released on its Newsroom page, outlined the social media company’s on-going commitment to help people see more of what they want to see.
The goal of News Feed is to connect people with the posts they find most relevant. As we’ve said in the past, it’s not about the amount of time someone spends on Facebook, but rather the quality of time spent.
The two new ranking updates will bring more posts from close friends, and a fresh crackdown on irrelevant links and link bait tactics.
To better inform their algorithms and display more relevant posts from close friends, Facebook said:
…we’ve begun surveying people on Facebook to ask them to list the friends they are closest to. We look at the patterns that emerge from the results, some of which include being tagged in the same photos, continuously reacting and commenting on the same posts and checking-in at the same places — and then use these patterns to inform our algorithm.
Essentially, by informing news feed algorithms more effectively, it is hoped that users will see more of what they want to see. Recently, the social network has been under fire for making news feed changes that simply don’t reflect their ideal user experience.
The end result, ideally, will be that users see more of their closest friends’ content. Since the implementation of the News Feed algorithm, Facebook has been consistently criticized for hiding important updates, and failing to keep people in the loop on key events within their social circles. This change aims to help Facebook improve on this front.
In its second update, Facebook’s algorithm will demote certain links that its users find unnecessary and unhelpful. By using different signs and signals, combined with information they have about posts (uploader, engagement rates, etc.), algorithms will be better equipped to make predictions about content relevancy.
…as a part of our continued effort to show people relevant posts, we were surveying people to ask what posts they thought were worth their time. Based on these surveys, we are updating News Feed to show people links we predict they will find worthwhile.
Matthew Berks is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Red Website Design, the UK’s leading low-cost website design company.