Facebook is changing your News Feed again

2 Feb 2016

Facebook is tweaking its algorithms so that your News Feed, in theory, will see you commenting and liking more content.

The ever-changing algorithms in Facebook’s backend would exhaust you were you to keep an eye on everything. However, by constantly tweaking them, Facebook has found a way to keep terribly unfocused users interested in its service for more than a decade now.

So, its latest change makes quite a bit of sense, and could prove quite a big one. Facebook has surveyed tens of thousands of users (1,000 a day rating stories in stars, for example) for quite a while now.

Through all its ongoing research, the company noticed a trend, in that stories that are both likely to be rated highly, and likely to be engaged with, are better at the top of feeds.

Being just one of these things doesn’t cut the mustard, it seems.

All change at the top

So, pretty soon, your News Feed will look different, populated in a different order and highlighting stories that, tailored to you, should be something you like to see and probably like to comment on.

“The impact of these changes on a story’s distribution will vary depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity,” reads the post by software engineers Cheng Zhang and Si Chen.

What does it mean for you interaction-hungry publishers on Facebook? Well, if your Pages don’t satisfy both sentiment and interaction, then, well, expect a drop in referral traffic.

And those thinking they can just encourage more clicks to get their ranking higher have been warned that this will cause just a “temporary spike” before balance is restored.

Of course, you can always manually override what you see first, if you don’t want Facebook deciding that for you.

Facebook image via d8nn/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic