Facebook has been criticized over how it handles posts in the News Feed, and starting today, will keep users updated on any algorithm changes with its “News Feed FYI” series of blog posts.
The News Feed relies off an algorithm called “Edgerank” which determines when posts are displayed. For example, links or text-based posts tend to get less attention than posts that include an image.
Moving forward, Facebook looks to become more transparent about algorithm updates similar to how Google announces updates to its search algorithm.
According to Engineer Lars Backstrom, “there is a good chance people would miss something they wanted to see if we displayed a continuous, unranked stream of information.”
Lars backs up this statement by saying that during tests when posts are shown in chronological order versus order of importance, the number of posts read and engagement goes down.
Kicking off News Feed algorithm announcements, older posts will now resurface more often if they continue receiving likes and comments. From the official blog post:
In a recent test with a small number of users, this change resulted in a 5% increase in the number of likes, comments and shares on the organic stories people saw from friends and an 8% increase in likes, comments and shares on the organic stories they saw from Pages. Previously, people read 57% of the stories in their News Feeds, on average. They did not scroll far enough to see the other 43%. When the unread stories were resurfaced, the fraction of stories read increased to 70%.
To stay up-to-date on future algorithm changes, you can visit the Facebook for Business website.