Facebook Adds Another News Feed Algorithm

Facebook Adds Another News Feed Algorithm

By Leigh Kurtzman, Intern

 

Though Facebook already uses many algorithms to track user engagement and decide what appears on one’s news feed, it has now created another one. This new algorithm has the ability to track how much time users spend looking at their news feeds, regardless of whether they directly interact with the post.

Facebook recognizes that many users do not like, share, or comment on many of the posts they scroll through. With stories that are based on serious topics, or just topics that people do not want to actively engage with, it is clear that users still find this content important. This algorithm allows Facebook to recognize stories that a user cares about most, and which stories they tend to completely ignore, in the hope to adjust each user’s news feed to accurately reflect their interests.

Although Facebook algorithms have mostly accounted for content that users like, share, or comment on, this is the first implemented that does not require any deliberate actions from users. It is unlikely that Facebook users will see a dramatic shift in their news feeds immediately. Facebook is still working to perfect the algorithm. Engineers reassure users that a slower reading speed or a bad Internet connection will not cause content to be more prevalent than necessary.

As an avid Facebook user myself, I am curious how this new algorithm will affect my news feed. When scrolling through, I am seemingly unaware of the stories I am spending the most time looking at. This new algorithm gives Facebook a strong insight into my natural preferences that I probably would never be able to realize myself. I am a little uneasy about this new algorithm but also curious and excited to see just how much it will change the content I am presented with.

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