At a press event March 7th, Facebook will show off a new look for its news feed. It’s the first major change to the news feed since 2011.
This the second press event held by Facebook at its Menlo Park, California headquarters this year.
The first event in January showed off Facebook’s evolving “Graph Search” feature.
It was billed as a press event, but watching the event streamed live, it seemed more like we were watching some kind of internal engineering demo. What Facebook was announcing was exciting but the presentation was nothing like a slickly produced Apple announcement. It had all the showmanship of a Junior High oral report given by a shy kid.
Graph Search is slowly being rolled out to users beginning with people signed up to be on the waiting list.
Facebook frequently makes changes to its more recently introduced Timeline feature, but the social network has been slow to tweak its news feed, which The Verge calls “its primary advertising avenue.”
According to Facebook, its news feed’s algorithm uses multiple factors to determine which stories you see in your news feed, including the number of comments, who posted the story, and what type of post it is.
Celebrity Facebook users like Anne Rice, Mark Cuban, and George Takei have loudly and repeatedly complained about the Facebook news feed algorithm, called “EdgeRank.” The three prominent users have taken issue with the way Facebook started to filter out posts their fans would see in news feeds. Takei, who has 3.5 million followers on Facebook posted this:
“I read with interest your letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. I am also curious as to why interactivity rates on my page appear to fluctuate so much when I have done nothing different. I have not been pressured to use Promoted Pages, but I have had to take active steps to get fans to add my page to their ‘Interests’ so that it has a higher likelihood of appearing in their newsfeed.”
We don’t know anything beyond speculation what Facebook will reveal about news feed March 7th other than it will be a “new look.” If past changes are any indication, Facebook users will get something new to complain until they decide they like the change.