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Facebook Tweaks News Feed, Shows Fresher Content at the top

19/09/2014

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The social networking giant, Facebook made a small adjustment in order to address the common problem of seeing days-old posts on the platform. The company has tweaked its News Feed so that the fresher content gets surfaced at the top and that people don’t find it annoying to filter the fresher ones from the list.

In a blog post published Thursday, company software engineers Erich Owens and David Vickrey acknowledged that the News Feed often isn’t as fresh as it could be:

“Our goal with News Feed is to show everyone the right content at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. We’ve heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show. There are also times when a post that is a day or two old may not be relevant to you anymore. Our latest update to News Feed ranking looks at two new factors to determine if a story is more important in the moment than other types of updates.”

However, priority will be given to the posts that tie in with its trending list, according to the update. For instance, if anyone in your connection whether a page or a friend posts something that is at the time a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, it is more likely that the post will appear higher up in News Feed for you to see it sooner. According to the testing that was done, such post got a 6% jump in engagement.

“This means that when a friend or Page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in News Feed, so you can see it sooner,” Owens and Vickrey said.

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The second thing Facebook takes into account is the rate at which users are liking or commenting on a post.

“The second update takes into account the rate at which people are liking or commenting on a post. Currently one of the signals we look at is the total number of likes that a post has received when determining how high up to to show it in News Feed. With this update, we are going to begin looking at when people are choosing to like, comment and share.”

“If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date. Based on this signal it is more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.”

According to Facebook, the timeliness will also influence which stories get prominence in News Feed.

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