Want to keep up with what’s happening in the world? Facebook’s News Feed will soon be a better place to do that. The company announced today that it’s tweaking the algorithms that power its feed in order to better surface fresh, newsy content.
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In a blog post about the changes, Facebook said that it will start tracking how quickly people interact with a new post. The more likes and comments something garners in a short amount of time, the faster it’ll be bumped up in someone else’s feed. But, at the same time, those stories that rise quickly will fall off users’ feeds more rapidly if Facebook doesn’t see continued engagement with the post in the form of likes and comments.
In addition, the company also reiterated its use of trending topics as a way to surface news content on Facebook. Users of the social networking site will be able to
The changes to Facebook’s algorithm come after the company was criticized for how stories about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri were displayed on the service. While the protests were a hot topic of discussion on Twitter, many people reported seeing next to nothing about breaking news events like the tear gassing of protestors in their News Feed.
Part of that is based on Facebook’s design: the News Feed is supposed to show relevant stories to users, but won’t necessarily do so instantaneously like Twitter will with its focus on an always-updating real time timeline. These tweaks may help Facebook compete in that arena, assuming that people who see news on the service interact with it.