Facebook Makes News Feed More Relevant and “Informative”
Facebook, the online social networking service, has made an announcement that it will start predicting stories which are informative. The company aims to highlight to users the stories which are related to their interests. The social network has added a new ranking signal to predict what is most informative to the members. The users at the Feed Quality Program take a look at the stories in the feed and rank it in a scale of one to five. One means “not very informative” and five means “very informative”. Facebook members find stories informative if they are linked to their interests, engage them in broader discussions, and also contain news around them. The informative stories are different for each individual and are most likely to change over time.
In an official release, Vibhi Kant, Product Manager, Facebook, Akos Lada, Data Scientist, Facebook, and Jie Xu, Research Scientist, Facebook, said, “To better understand how we can show people the most informative stories to them, we talk to people and ask them how we can improve what they see when they check Facebook. This is our Feed Quality Program, which includes global crowd-sourced surveys of tens of thousands of people per day, as well as people who answer more detailed questions about what they like seeing in their feeds. We ask people through this Feed Quality Program to rate their experience.”
According to Facebook, this is not a drastic change. It is more about reordering the stories which are already good enough to appear higher on the feed instead of banishing or injecting particular stories. The company has said that some Pages may not witness a significant change, some may witness an increase in referral traffic whereas some a minor decrease. This model is personalized to each user based on how often they comment on a post, the posts they typically click and their relationship with the post’s author. By combining the existing machine learning with these signals, Facebook scans the content of these posts in order to identify topics which users care about.
This update comes a week after Facebook tweaked the News Feed to bury clickbait articles. Now, posts which are predicted will not only be personally informative but will gain more visibility as well. This update could improve Facebook’s relationship with the news industry as those who care about news might see more of it.