Here's A Great Look Into How Facebook Controls Your News Feed

Facebook's process for determining what goes into your News Feed is frustratingly opaque. However, a recent profile in Slate helps explain some of the behind the scenes, and it's rather informative. Unsurprisingly, the company uses a variety of factors to determine how different posts ranks in priority in your feed. However, what was a bit more surprising is that Facebook has had a panel of testers since summer of 2014 that provide feedback on the News Feed. That feedback is also considered and factored into the magical algorithm. Which, by the way, is actually just a giant pile of dozens of smaller algorithms:

After taking the reins in late 2013, Mosseri's big initiative was to set up what Facebook calls its "feed quality panel." It began in summer 2014 as a group of several hundred people in Knoxville whom the company paid to come in to an office every day and provide continual, detailed feedback on what they saw in their news feeds. (Their location was, Facebook says, a "historical accident" that grew out of a pilot project in which the company partnered with an unnamed third-party subcontractor.) Mosseri and his team didn't just study their behaviour. They also asked them questions to try to get at why they liked or didn't like a given post, how much they liked it, and what they would have preferred to see instead. "They actually write a little paragraph about every story in their news feed," notes Greg Marra, product manager for the news feed ranking team. (This is the group that's becoming Facebook's equivalent of Nielsen families.)

The downside, of course, is that most of this information isn't all that actionable. We've already collected all the most useful tips for wrangling your News Feed here. However, if you've ever grabbed your computer monitor and screamed at Facebook saying "Why? Why are you showing me this?!" then Slate's piece is a good read that can give you some insight.

Who Controls Your Facebook Feed [Slate]


Comments

    It's not so much the crap they add to your news feed, it's the posts they hide from it.

    For example, I followed one page that has a single post per day. Just one, and Facebook's braindead filtering logic decided I didn't want to see it, so hid it.

    The way around it is to use an Interest List for all your wanted pages. AFAIK, Facebook still sends all posts from all followed pages, unfiltered, to Interest Lists. Then just use the Interest List instead of the censored News Feed. Only downside is last time I used the Facebook app, the bastards had removed the ability to view Interest Lists.

    Facebook feeds should be SHOT!! It's a total waste of time trying to guess what you might see. I want to see in chronological order.. Not some guess version of what they think is important to me. FYI: most of it isn't, facebroke!

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