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September 19, 2014

Facebook Tweak to Keep Relevant Posts at Top of News Feed

Facebook has once again tweaked the algorithm of its news feed to boost popular conversations and other relevant posts to the top of the heap.

The move is a bid to offer up the right content at the right time so members don’t miss the posts that interest them most — such as friend’ comments or posts about trending news.

The social network said the changes mean users can “immediately know what your friends or favorite Pages are saying about the stories of the day.”

trending_headlineBut that does not mean you will see a pile of old posts from your friends either.

“We’ve heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show,” reads a blog post by Facebook software engineer Erich Owens and engineering manager David Vickrey.

“There are also times when a post that is a day or two old may not be relevant to you anymore. Our latest update to News Feed ranking looks at two new factors to determine if a story is more important in the moment than other types of updates.”

Early tests of the algorithm update showed roughly six percent more likes, clicks, comments and shares on trending posts.

Ranking posts will also be determined on engagement. For instance, a post that receives a lot of likes and/or comments from one’s friends will also be a factor in where it appears in a user’s news feed.

“If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date,” the blog post reads. “Based on this signal it is more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.”

The algorithm change will roll out gradually, the pair said, adding that it is unlikely to have a huge impact on how posts are distributed.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.