Facebook Updates News Feed to Feature More ‘High Quality’ Content

NEW YORK | Saturday, August 24th, 2013 3:45am EDT

Facebook has unveiled its new News Feed update today.

Facebook Updates News Feed 01

Facebook has updated its News Feed algorithm trying to reach “high quality” content from pages that users regularly use. Photo: Mehfuz Hossain/Flickr

Mark Zuckerberg’s company already uses a technical algoritm that generalizes a personalized News Feed for each user.

The algorithm takes several factors into account to decide on which place it should be on the News Feed: the author and number of likes, comments, and shares.

And as News Feed is uniquely populated for each user, the social netwok first needed to define “high quality” content, software engineer Varun Kacholia explained in Facebook’s blog post.

The site has thoroghly examined thousands of its users and in attempt to find out how they deem high quality content, saving the responses into a new machine learning system that was integrated with the master algorithm.

“The system uses over a thousand different factors, such as how frequently content from a certain Page is reported as low quality (e.g., hiding a Page post), how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base of other known high quality Pages,” Facebook explains.

The social network explained that it had tested the new version of the ranking algorithm “with a small segment of our users” and found that there’s a significant increase in interactions (likes, comments, shares) with this content and that people in the test group also hid fewer stories overall.

The just created algorithm is scheduled to be launched over the next few weeks to users on both desktop and mobile, according to the post.

Earlier this month the site promised to give regular updates about its News Feed algorithm as it changes.

“We are continually working to improve News Feed and from time to time we make updates to the algorithm that determines which stories appear first,” Facebook said in a statement.

“We’ve heard from our users and page owners that we need to do a better job of communicating these updates. 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 news comes a few days after the social networking site announced its new feature ‘Login with Facebook’ which forces apps to request separate permission from users to post on the social network on their behalf.

The Zuckerberg’s team revealed that it believes that users will enjoy the advantage of login with Facebook as a quick way to register with apps.

Facebook added in its announcement: “Although Facebook login is widely used, we understand people’s concerns about apps posting on their Timeline or to their friends. For the past several months, we’ve been rolling out a new version of Facebook login on mobile to address these concerns.”

“With this new update, mobile apps using Facebook login must now separately ask you for permission to post back to Facebook.”

The social network representatives went on, unveiling some statistics that shows users sign into apps via login with Facebook more than 850 million times each month.

The data also showed that 81 of the top 100 grossing iOS apps and 62 of the top 100 grossing Android apps use login with Facebook, reports Inside Facebook.

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