Facebook fudges with News Feed to feature top-notch Page posts

The social network has developed a machine-learning system to identify and feature just the "most interesting" updates from the Pages you follow.

Matt Harnack/Facebook

Facebook revealed Friday that it has once again tweaked the algorithm for picking content to show in News Feed, this time hoping to appease businesses that have criticized the social network for showing their updates to fewer fans.

Now, the social network thinks it has figured out a solution to the problem with a new formula for featuring the "most interesting" updates from Facebook Pages in members' News Feeds. The goal is to get the best Page content in front of the fans who will appreciate it most.

"Our latest update to the News Feed ranking algorithm helps ensure that the organic content people see from Pages they are connected to is the most interesting to them," Varun Kacholia, engineering manager for News Feed Ranking, wrote in an explanatory blog post.

The company said that the News Feed changes are meant to ensure that it shows members only the highest-quality Page posts. Facebook gathered feedback from members who were surveyed on their likes and dislikes to develop a machine-learning system that incorporates more than 1,000 factors to detect Page post quality, Kacholia said.

The altered version of the News Feed ranking algorithm has been in testing with a small group of Facebook users who reportedly hid fewer Page stories, and also liked, commented on, or shared Page content significantly more than before. The social network said it would roll out the changes to all members over the next few weeks.

The changes will likely be met with mixed reactions from the brands and businesses that operate Pages on Facebook. Designed with the user in mind, the formula will likely de-emphasize Page content that is identified as low quality, which means those updates will reach fewer people than before.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

CNET's Christmas Gift Guide

Under pressure? These will deliver on time

With plenty of top-notch retailers offering digital gifts, you still have time to salvage your gift-giving reputation.