Facebook updates its News Feed, again


A Facebook Inc. logo is displayed for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. (Daniel Acker/BLOOMBERG)
August 6, 2013

Facebook announced a couple of small tweaks to its News Feed Tuesday, saying that it’s testing new modifications aimed at making the running line of updates on your Facebook profile even more relevant.

The company said that there are, on average, around 1,500 News Feed stories on the site each time a Facebook user logs on to the site, and that the social network faces the challenge of figuring out which pieces of content should rise to the top. Facebook prioritizes information from certain people based on things including on how much a user interacts with that person or how many shares, likes or comments have been left on a single post.

To further improve the system, Facebook said that it is now testing a new algorithm that will work to pull up stories that may have ended up lower down on your feed , but are still flagged as posts you’d probably like to see.

In testing, the company said, the new system led people to read more of the stories on their News Feed — from about 57 percent to 70 percent. The change also bumped the amount of likes, shares and comments on the site for individuals, by 5 percent. For business or public figures with Facebook pages, it jumped up 8 percent.

Facebook said that it will be providing more updates on how it tweaks its News Feed, in an attempt to offer more information to brand owners and businesses on its site about how and why it changes things.

“We’ve heard from our users and Page owners that we need to do a better job of communicating these updates,” the company said in its Small Business blog post Tuesday. “Starting today, we’re going to try and change that. News Feed FYI blog posts, beginning with this one, will highlight major updates to News Feed and explain the thinking behind them.”

(The Washington Post Co. chairman and chief executive Donald E. Graham is a member of Facebook’s board of directors.)

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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