At the beginning of August, Facebook announced a press event that would be focused on finally clearing up some of the confusion regarding how the Facebook News Feed works. In particular, they wanted to explain why certain Facebook posts show up in users’ News Feeds while others might not. In addition to that, they stated that there would be announcements about some changes to the News Feed at this press event, which would help users see the posts that they were more interested in.
On August 6, Facebook held this press event and explained exactly how different posts are ranked in the News Feed. The posts are prioritized based on how much one interacts with a certain friend, Page, or public figure, the number of likes, shares, and comments that a post received, how much a user has interacted with that type of post in the past, and whether or not that post is being actively hidden or reported by other users. Facebook has acknowledged that there are over 1500 potential posts the average user might see a day, so they recognize the importance of trying to give priority to certain posts in each user’s News Feed.
In addition to offering more information on how the News Feed works, the press event also operated to announce that Facebook would be taking a page from Google and would start publishing blog updates on how the News Feed algorithm was going to gradually be changed. Facebook employees have said that there are a number of tweaks that are going to be coming to the News Feed in the near future and some of these alterations have already begun to surface.
The newest addition to the News Feed algorithm is that it will now take popular stories – particularly, one that’s getting a lot of comments and likes – and will put it at the top of your News Feed to make sure that you don’t miss it, even if it was posted earlier on in the day. This is the first change to the News Feed that Facebook has made and in the future, it seems they will be making a lot more to ensure that the News Feed remains a relevant part of Facebook.