When you think about it, the amount of content churning through a given person’s Facebook news feed is truly a daunting torrent of information. The social giant has given its users the ability to filter and sort their feed a la “See First” and “Unfollow” capabilities, as well as the option whether or not to sort chronologically. However, that’s still just not enough. It’s all too easy for posts from those you’re most interested in to slip through the cracks.
That’s why Facebook is overhauling the way their news feed sorts content on your home page. Although users have complained about changes to the sorting algorithm in the past, this one really does look like it will be a boon to users. In a post announcing the changes to be rolled out, Vice President of product management Adam Mosseri outlines a set of tenants called News Feed Values that determine what content you see in what order.
The principles are pretty straightforward. The new algorithms will make sure to put your family and friends toward the top of your feed. It will also pay attention to which users you tend to engage most frequently via likes or comments, and it will shuffle those friends upward. This lets your news feed learn and adapt over time, providing you with more and more relevant content and bothering you less with junk that you’re only passingly interested in.
On a more abstract level, the news feed will attempt to determine which stories people consider informative or “genuine,” and move those to your attention as well. Facebook will keep up with what general topics you’re interested in, then look at users who are interested in similar topics. The posts that receive engagement from users who share interests with you are more likely to bubble to the top of your feed.
We are not in the business of picking which issues the world should read about.
“We are not in the business of picking which issues the world should read about,” Mosseri writes, which is a little strange since news recently broke that Facebook was actually kind of a little bit in the business of picking which issues the world should read about. Nevertheless, these changes seem to move against such a notion, adapting your news feed on the fly to become more relevant to your interests. But what are your thoughts regarding these changes? Let us know in the comments!