You might be connected with hundreds or even thousands of people on Zuckerberg’s ever-expanding social behemoth, Facebook. But, every time when you open Facebook, you might be bombarded with everything posted during the past weeks by your friends, those people you follow, every group and Facebook pages to which you belong to. For an average Facebook user, this’ll be more than around 1,500 posts; and if you have almost thousands of friends, it could be even more than 10,000 or 20, 000 and obviously, that could be pretty mind-boggling. Honestly saying, most of us might not want to get assaulted with each and every update from all those whom we’re connected with, right? And that’s what the Facebook folks felt and to make sure of this, they’ve accomplished tons of researches.
Let’s see what Facebook says…
“If you could rate everything that happened on Earth today that was published anywhere by any of your friends, any of your family, any news source, and then pick the 10 that were the most meaningful to know today, that would be a really cool service for us to build. That is really what we aspire to have News Feed become” , -Says Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. And from the very beginning, this is what Facebook’s News Feeds aimed at. But as per Zuckerberg’s conclusion on various surveys, every single user is exposed to over 1500 stories daily; however, an average user will view about 100 stories of them.
In the light of this, Zuckerberg and his crew started regularly analyzing user behaviors and gathering signals that show what kind of content each individual is most interested in particular. And this actually has given rise to best possible user experiences ever, than any other Social networking site can offer.
It’s something more than a ‘like’ button…
‘Like’ button was always been considered to be the core of Facebook’s user experience. But today, the algorithm for Facebook’s News Feed has become much more refined. It’s not just epicentered at a simple ‘Like’ button and yes, this has made Facebook’s algorithm further more complicated than those followed by other social networks.
As we said, Facebook’s news feed algorithm was molded not only based on what we read and how we keep in touch, but also how media fabricate stories in order to capture our attention. When picking posts for each user, News Feed algorithm takes into consideration precisely, hundreds of variables, so that it can predict with a certain degree of confidence that a particular user will click, like comment, share, hide, or mark a post as spam.
Let’s now have a look onto the factors that are used by Facebook to assess each individual post:
- Who posted it and how often one engages with content from this user.
- What is the type of content in the post and how often the individual engages with this type of content.
- When it was posted is quite an important ranking factor, as people want to keep updated with the latest news. (On the other hand, if you post something this morning, and yesterday someone else posted something that has more engagement (which means, reactions, comments, or shares), chances are higher for a user to see the post with more engagement first, even though your post is more recent.)
A lot more for users..
Few years before, Facebook was anticipating user’s interest in viewing News Feeds based on Likes, comments, and shares of others. And later on, they have added the options for users to filter out posts which they really don’t want to see. But, through surveys, they came to know that most of the users have the concern that they were missing substantial updates from their friends. And this was the driving force behind them to make a change by enabling more control for users. So, by April 2015, they started giving preferences to posts from friends in the form of higher relevancy scores, rather than the pages they follow and other promotional posts. And by July, they added another feature- “See First”, which actually helped users pick out which accounts (whether friends or followed Pages) they wanted to see at the top of News Feeds.
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And then, Facebook started keeping an eye on how much time users spend viewing certain posts. And the logic behind this was that, people used to spend more time on a particular post in their feed than the majority of other posts they look if that particular post might be of quite a relevance to them. So, they added up the very next feature that, if you spend more time on a particular post, Facebook is more likely to show that post on your friends’ News Feeds.
In fact, the end goal for the world’s largest social network isn’t just to make a guess work of what you’ll click on when you’re bored. The company aims at showing you things that you care about most in your life.