Facebook tweaks News Feed algorithm to make content more appealing

The update is part of Facebook's ongoing effort to keep users happy with the kinds of content they see on the site.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Facebook has once again made changes to its News Feed algorithm as part of its ongoing effort to keep users happy with the kinds of content they see on the site.

The social networking giant said the latest changes are based off of qualitative feedback from a sampling of Facebook users who were asked to share their daily experiences with News Feed content.

Based on this research, Facebook said it was able to rank which stories users would be interested in seeing near the top of News Feed even if they choose not to actually engage with it.

Instead of using engagement actions, Facebook focused on two particular signals: The probability that users want to see a particular story at the top of their feed, and the probability they'll like, share or comment on it.

"We saw through our research that people reported having a better News Feed experience when the stories they see at the top are stories they are both likely to rate highly if asked and likely to engage with," software engineers Cheng Zhang and Si Chen wrote in a blog post.

As for what the changes mean for Pages, Facebook said it's likely to vary depending on audience and posting activity. However, there could be some impact on reach or referral traffic if a story's click rate does not match up with how much people report actually wanting to see that particular story.

Also, Pages needn't bother asking for likes and shares. Facebook said this will only create a temporary spike in metrics, which will eventually be rebalanced by ranking over time.

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