Feeds

Facebook turns tables on profile stalkers with News Feed tweak

We know you LIKE that ... bitch

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Facebook has tweaked its News Feed ranking algorithms in a bid to get users spending more time gazing at memes and cat pictures.

Mark Zuckerberg's free-content ad-network admitted that the way it had ranked updates posted on Facebook "isn't perfect". Indeed, some have long complained about how the company curates friends' "stories" for them.

Thus, Zuck's gang has updated its News Feed algorithm to creepily respond to "signals from you".

If a user, for example, spends lots of time stalking one mate's page they will suddenly see lots more posts from that person appearing in the main feed.

The frequency of "Likes" and comments added to individual posts will also help Facebook's software better amplify more popular stories, the publicly-trading outfit said.

The company added that "organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments".

It was also keen to keep its promise with admen, from whom Facebook creams off the majority of its revenue.

For Page owners, this means their most popular organic Page posts have a higher chance of being shown to more people, even if they're more than a few hours old. Advertisers should note, however, that this change does not impact how paid content appears in News Feeds.

Facebook explained that, during testing of a "random sample" of 7,000 daily active users during one week in July, it discovered an average of 1,500 potential stories posted by friends, people they follow and Pages for them to click on. But most peeps did not stick around long enough to scroll through all the posts.

It added that, when those posts were ordered chronologically, the number of "Likes" and comments on Facebook actually fell. Which is, of course, bad news for a site that is trying to make more and more cash out of ads.

The algorithm tweakage means that Facebook has refined what "news" lands on a user's feed. It is now prioritising 300 stories to display each day, with the software looking for "signals" about what should be made available and what should be pushed down the page. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.