Facebook has revealed changes it has made to News Feed, which has, in part, been informed by feedback from users.
The social network giant said that the purpose of News Feed is to “show you the content that matters most to you”.
Historically, some of the factors influencing what you see include “the actions” that people take, be it commenting on an article or sharing a post.
These have helped Facebook work out what to put at the top, so that you can benefit from relevant pieces of content that will interest you.
“But these factors don’t always tell us the whole story of what is most meaningful to you,” wrote Ansha Yu and Sami Tas, both software engineers at the tech company, on its official blog.
“Recently, as part of our ongoing effort to improve News Feed, we asked people to rate their experience and tell us how we can improve the content they see when they check Facebook.”
What they learnt, which was something of a revelation for them, was that just because someone doesn’t share a story, make a comment or like a piece of comment, doesn’t mean “it wasn’t meaningful to them”.
The researchers give, by way of example, a serious news story. They don’t, in this instance, feel like commenting or liking such a story. However, it is, nevertheless, an important piece of content that they were interested in.
“Based on this finding, we are updating News Feed’s ranking to factor in a new signal—how much time you spend viewing a story in your News Feed,” the engineers stated.
This is a major change and it will be interesting to see what kind of an impact it has. It certainly makes sense – just because you don’t seem to visibly be engaged/impressed by an article – through a like – does not mean it has not had an impact.