Facebook Uses Feedback to Adjust the News Feed Algorithm

The goal of Facebook News Feed is to show users the stories that matter most to them. Historically, the actions people take on Facebook of liking, clicking, commenting, or sharing a post are the main factors considered to determine what to show at the top of each user’s News Feed. But these factors don’t always conclude that the content is meaningful to the member.

Facebook is seeking to change this. “As part of our ongoing effort to improve News Feed, we ask over a thousand people to rate their experience every day and tell us how we can improve the content they see when they check Facebook — we call this our Feed Quality Panel. We also survey tens of thousands of people around the world each day to learn more about how well we’re ranking each person’s feed. We ask people to rate each story from one to five stars in response to the question “how much did you want to see this story in your News Feed?” From this research using a representative sample of people, we are able to better understand which stories people would be interested in seeing near the top of their News Feed even if they choose not to click, like or comment on them — and use this information to make ranking changes,” explains Cheng Zhang, Software Engineer, and Si Chen, Software Engineer with Facebook.

How will this affect Facebook Pages

  • Pages might see some declines in referral traffic if the rate at which their stories are clicked on does not match how much people report wanting to see those stories near the top of their News Feed. This update helps rebalance those two factors, so people are seeing relevant stories to them.
  • Pages should avoid encouraging people to take an action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time.
  • Pages should continue to post things that audiences find meaningful and continue using Page post best practices.

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