Feeds

Facebook turns tables on profile stalkers with News Feed tweak

We know you LIKE that ... bitch

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.