Facebook as a social network has tremendous value today because of their elusive News Feed which is constructed by a complex algorithm based on the pages you like, your communications with friends and family, what pages you interact with and so on. Now Facebook has surprisingly provided some details about its "core values" for the first time. The social network claims that they use these rules over the long term to re-arrange and show feed content to the end user.
The main idea behind the news feed, according to Facebook, is as follows:
FRIENDS AND FAMILY COME FIRST
Facebook was built on the idea of connecting people with their friends and family. That is still the driving principle of News Feed today. Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why if it’s from your friends, it’s in your feed, period — you just have to scroll down. To help make sure you don’t miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, we put those posts toward the top of your News Feed. We learn from you and adapt over time. For example, if you tend to like photos from your sister, we’ll start putting her posts closer to the top of your feed so you won’t miss what she posted while you were away.
Our research has also shown us that, after friends and family, people have two other strong expectations when they come to News Feed:
Your feed should inform. People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them — and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting — this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe. We’re always working to better understand what is interesting and informative to you personally, so those stories appear higher up in your feed.
Your feed should entertain. We’ve also found that people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment. For some people, that’s following a celebrity or athlete; for others it’s watching Live videos and sharing funny photos with their friends. We work hard to try to understand and predict what posts on Facebook you find entertaining to make sure you don’t miss out on those.
Based on these factors, Facebook says it will hide content that is considered "misleading, sensational and spammy" in the user feed. If some day this content detection algorithm goes wrong, you may miss some interesting information from a friend or a page you are following on Facebook.
According to Facebook, the user can control which content he wants to see. By using actions like "unfollow", "hide", "see first", "show more of this type" etc available for people and pages, you can choose your content of interest so it appears or disappears from your News Feed.
With the latest changes, Facebook is going to show posts from friends and family with a higher priority in your feed. This means that publishers who rely on Facebook pages to convey information to content consumers can easily lose their coverage of the audience.
However, for those publishers who pay Facebook to make sure their content reaches a wider audience, this update will not be applied. This contradicts with the "friends and family" rule, which can lead to the following:
- You will see paid posts in your news feed.
- Then you will see status updates from your friend.
- Finally, you might not see any interesting content created by a page or a person, because it was not promoted by paying money to Facebook!
It is understandable that Facebook wants to earn with promoted content. However, you should consciously make sure that you have tuned your Facebook settings and Likes properly to see content of your interest. I will explain this will an example.
Suppose you find Winaero's content interesting and useful. To continue seeing updates from Winaero in your Facebook feed, you need to visit our page once on Facebook and enable "See First" option. You can also turn on notifications.
- Open our Facebook page: Winaero on Facebook.
- Hover with your mouse over the "Liked" button" or tap the button with your finger (if you have a touchscreen) to show this menu:
- Tick the option "See First" under "In your news feed". You can also set Notifications to "All On" as shown below.
Repeat this for all pages that you find useful and interesting.
What do you think about this change in Facebook? Tell us in the comments.