Facebook Tweaks News Feed Algorithm to Display More Relevant Content - The UpStream

Facebook Tweaks News Feed Algorithm to Display More Relevant Content

posted Sunday Dec 6, 2015 by Nicholas DiMeo

Facebook Tweaks News Feed Algorithm to Display More Relevant Content

Facebook's News Feed constantly undergoes changes and updates in order for the company to try and stay ahead of the curve and deliver relevant information to its users. Whether you like the new News Feed or not doesn't seem to matter, as Facebook continues to give the feed a makeover every couple of quarters. However it goes just beyond cosmetics, with the social networking giant also tweaking the algorithms that drive the content that is chosen to be displayed.

In this alteration of what you'll see, Facebook is trying to make it simpler for its users to ignore nonsensical "news" topics and unnecessarily viral posts. Over the past few months, they have polled tens of thousands of users per day in what they are calling "story surveys." Those surveys would pit two posts next to each other, and would ask the user which they would like to see more.

Facebook says that these surveys are greatly improving the user experience.

With this update, if a significant amount of people tell us they would prefer to see other posts more than that particular viral post, we'll take that into account when ranking, so that viral post might show up lower in people's feeds in the future, since it might not actually be interesting to people.

A big problem with Facebook's users is their sometimes blind sharing of hoaxes. Facebook says that the newly-configured News Feed should help keep those posts from being shown. Combined with the new algorithm and surveys, the company introduced a feature earlier this year that allows users to mark a post as false. These three tools together should prevent me from seeing that Derek Jeter has died for the fifth time this week.

Of course, another solution would be to choose which of your friends' posts you'd want to see in the first place, or even deciding which friends might need to be unfriended. There's also the ability to hide those annoying posts, but that requires a bit of effort: 3 clicks of a mouse.

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