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Facebook updates its News Feed ranking algorithm yet again, prioritizes friends and family above publishers

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Facebook has continuously been trying to make the News Feed more friendly and interactive for all users. Each and every user has different likes and requirements. While some users prefer watching more video and entertaining content on their feed, some others may just login to keep tabs on their friends.

Facebook also aims to show more of what’s relevant to each individual and so it’s announcing another iteration of the News Feed today. The social media giant has released a document named the ‘News Feed Values‘ which takes a trip down memory lane and lays emphasis on the core values of networking.

After introducing multiple iterations to the News Feed and trying to benefit businesses and media giants, Facebook has understood that it should roll back and focus on connecting friends and family. So it’s introducing changes to the news feed ranking algorithm, that will keep you posted about your friends activities. It will rank those results high up in the news feed as compared to business pages. So now, no more Buzzfeed videos should leave you craving for food at 2 a.m in the morning.

And since the technology has evolved to the point where machine-learning could be used to understand any data characteristic. Facebook will now also try and learn what’s important to you, to show more of that in your tailored news feed over time. Adam Mosseri in the blogpost subtly asks a very important question before telling us about the ‘News Feed Values’.

If you could look through thousands of stories every day and choose the 10 that were most important to you, which would they be?

The answer is simple. Your NEWS FEED. You shouldn’t need to scroll through pages and pages of information to know what’s important for you.

News Feed is all about Info-tainment

And that brings us to the strong expectations that users have when they visit their news feeds on the daily(or weekly). Of course, each user can have different expectations from their news feed, but research shows that it is a mix of the following two:

  • Your feed should inform: Facebook believes that people think their news feed to be their daily dose of latest information and happenings on the web. People return because they see stories that are informative and meaningful — and it couldn’t stress it enough its different for each of us. And the news feed is now adaptive to what you consider informative, whether its a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity or the local news.
  • Your feed should entertain: And who doesn’t want to see funny cats and dogs falling into a pool and making a fool out of themselves. So, with informative posts, users also want to have some fun and relax when they visit their news feed. There will now be a curated balance between the informative and entertaining bit based on your daily social skills.

And why does Facebook think that the News Feed is so important for the people?

It’s just hard truth that if the social media giant doesn’t prioritize friends and family over publishers and the chaos that is media, then people wouldn’t return to the platform. Also, as the scenario shifts from written content towards that of video and live streaming, Facebook doesn’t want you get lost and be subdued by big publishers. It wants to ensure that you don’t spend half-hour on the couch streaming ‘Live’to nobody. You should be able to reach out to more people in the audience and interact with them in the process.

Authentic Platform for all Ideas

Facebook believes that the strength of the community lies in authentic communication. With this point, it wants to emphasize the point that your news feed is all authentic and based on your ideas and likings. The company is no puppet-master who will control and subdue conservative political or religious matters that it might deem unfit for your feed.

The company in all points is emphasizing the importance of the individual and how they are the captain of their own ship. They know which turn to take to avoid the storm, and when to slow down or speed up to reach the destination. It just wants to make the News Feed alive and enjoyable again!

The company has always stuck to its goal of connecting friends and family, who are all free to express their own viewpoints. They can choose to accept any thought that resonates with them or neglect any idea that they deem unfit for their health. This also opens them to multiple view-points and thought process that they might have not been able to experience in a closeted environment(or society).

And with the onslaught of ideas, it is inclusive that it is trying to make Facebook a place where people aren’t subject to attacks, hate, or any other harmful behavior.

Constant Iteration

Ultimately each individual knows what’s meaningful for them, and so you can control and customize your experience on the platform. Facebook is constantly receiving feedback(sometimes even in the form of hate — on Twitter!! :P) on how to better customize the user-experience and make it more personal. But, if you still don’t like something you see, you have the power to censor it. The company provides you with features such as “unfollow,” “hide” and “see first” to build your customized news feed.

And since its inception in 2003, when the News Feed didn’t even exist the company has been iterating the platform to align with the values above. Facebook is dedicated to continuously force changes to helps you achieve more visibility than you think it should.

The biggest social network on the face of planet Earth now has over 1.65 billion monthly active users visiting the platform and scanning through their news feeds. And when AI comes into the algorithmic mix, the company will no longer have to rely on ranking algorithms. So, all we can now hope is to see this as a welcoming change that helps improve the News Feed and surface information that users actually wanna engage with.


A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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