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Facebook to tweak its 'News Feed' algorithm - Here's how it'll work

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The much-debated Facebook News Feed algorithm is set for an overhaul.

The social media platform will unveil a clutch of News Feed ranking tests seeking users' feedback on what they’re seeing, which will eventually have a decisive say in Facebook’s News Feed ranking process. 

Essentially, the whole endeavour is to offer users a more refined and personalized experience.

"Over the next few months, we’ll test new ways to get more specific feedback from people about the posts they’re seeing, and we’ll use that feedback to make News Feed better," Facebook said in a blog post (opens in new tab).

Facebook will be mostly looking to understand which content people find interesting, what they want to see less of.

The 5 things that Facebook is attempting to do with your News Feed

Two years back, Facebook came up with surveys that asked users, “Is this post worth your time?” Facebook used the feedback to inform how it arranged posts in users' respective News Feed going forward.  

Firstly, Facebook will now build on these surveys by asking new questions about the content people find valuable as well as the content people don’t enjoy seeing in their News Feed.

Facebook's new 'inspirational' news feed

Facebook's new 'inspirational' news feed (Image credit: Facebook)

Secondly, Facebook said people have told it they want to see more inspiring and uplifting content in News Feed because it motivates them and can be useful to them outside of Facebook. "To this end, we’re running a series of global tests that will survey people to understand which posts they find inspirational. We’ll incorporate their responses as a signal in News Feed ranking, with the goal of showing people more inspirational posts closer to the top of their News Feed," Facebook said.

Thirdly, sometimes even posts shared by users' respective friends and close relatives may not be interesting to them (users). To address this, Facebook will ask people whether they want to see more or fewer posts about a certain topic, and based on their collective feedback, it'll aim to show people more content about the topics they’re more interested in.

Fourthly, Facebook said that it is hearing from people that they’re seeing too much content about politics and too many other kinds of posts and comments that detract from their News Feed experience. So, over the next few months, the social media platform will work to better understand what kinds of content are linked with these negative experiences.

Facebook makes it easy to hide posts you don't like

Facebook makes it easy to hide posts you don't like (Image credit: Facebook)

Fifthly, Facebook will also soon test a new post design to make the option of giving feedback even more prominent and easy. "If you come across something that you find irrelevant, problematic or irritating, you can tap the X in the upper right corner of the post to hide it from your News Feed and see fewer posts like it in the future."

In all, Facebook's attempt at News Feed update are interesting and have significant implications, and will doubtless impact what people see, and how 'Page' managers  arrive at their Facebook strategy.

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Balakumar K
Balakumar K

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.