How often do you check Facebook? Once a day, twice an hour, or every five minutes? Whenever you check your News Feed, there’s something that never changes – its relevance to you.
When Facebook launched ‘News Feed’ in 2006, it was simply a place where you could see a selection of latest updates from friends, family, and that person you went to school with 5 years ago. Now it has evolved to become a bustling social centre packed with all kinds of posts; including a few too many videos of that old school friend’s kid.
From status updates, latest news, business ads, games and online sales, there are more posts jostling for space on the News Feed than ever before, so who decides what you see and when? Facebook of course! The social media giant has come up with some clever algorithms that ensure there’s a healthy mix of posts on a person’s News Feed at all times.
They know that no one wants a News Feed filled with Candy Crush news and businesses selling their services, so they’re making sure we all have a balanced diet of posts when we log on.
Two months ago, Facebook revealed it was building a ‘better’ News Feed having admitted they never imagined today’s challenge of there being too much information for any person to consume. When doing this, they always refer to their set of ‘core values’, meaning the News Feed never loses touch with why it was founded in the first place. The main value is ‘friends and family come first’, a priority for the social media giant. They also value information, entertainment, authenticity (we’re talking minimal spam posts and misleading stories), and user control.
In keeping with these values, Facebook announced it was further reducing Clickbait as part of the improvements for the News Feed, particularly by targeting misleading stories.
If you’ve ever found yourself navigating away from the News Feed because your attention has been grabbed by a headline like ‘You’ll never believe what David Cameron has been doing in Cornwall…’ only to find out he built a sandcastle on holiday, you’ll know what we’re talking about. It’s this style of Clickbait that Facebook is cutting out. They’ll be using a system similar to how an email spam filter works, prioritising more of what you want to see and placing it higher up on your feed.
Although you may not notice any significant changes to your News Feed, you can sleep easy at night knowing Facebook is working away behind the scenes to ensure your Facebook experience is as enjoyable as ever!