Facebook Algorithm Tweak Helps to Better Target Ads in News Feed

Credit: Matt Harnack / Facebook

Facebook has updated the algorithm that determines which ads make it into its news feed to “improve the relevance and quality of the ads” its members see.

“When deciding which ad to show to which groups of people, we are placing more emphasis on feedback we receive from people about ads, including how often people report or hide an ad,” news feed ads engineering manager Hong Ge said in a blog post.

“That means people should see ads that are increasingly relevant to them, and fewer ads that they might not be interested in.”

The changes are win-win for the social network’s members and its advertisers, Ge said.

To determine what users want to see, Facebook pays attention to clicks, likes, comments and shares. This enables news feed to learn what ads are relevant to people. For instance, when a member hides an ad, news feed makes note that that member is not interested in those types of ads.

This is also good news for marketers, Ge said, because while their ads may be seen by fewer people, it will be seen by people who are more likely to purchase the product or service being advertised.

“This means that some marketers may see some variation in the distribution of their ads in the coming weeks,” Ge said. “Our goal is to make sure we deliver the most relevant ads, which should mean the right people are seeing a specific ad campaign. This is ultimately better for marketers, because it means their messages are reaching the people most interested in what they have to offer.”

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