Facebook will track the time spent on content in an effort to improve news feed content.
Chances are you probably don’t always engage in the content that appears on your Facebook News Feed, even if it’s something you care about. When scrolling down your News Feed, there are times that you’ve seen a piece of content that you found interesting; however, you did not “like” it because it seemed weird to do such a thing. For example, you may have read an article about a massive hurricane that wiped out an entire community. The act of “liking” it may come across to you as weird because certainly you don’t like the devastation, but you still found the content very compelling and deeply care about the event.
Like It Or Not:
The News Feed from Facebook is known for showing you content based on posts that you and your friends have liked, commented or shared. Recently, Facebook conducted a survey asking users to rate their experience and suggest possible improvements to the content that appears. The social networking giant received much feedback explaining that users did not want information related to trending events. Thus, Facebook is introducing a new algorithm that will change the content on your News Feed. Instead of showing content based on material that you liked, commented or shared, it will be factoring in the amount of time you spent looking at a particular post.
How The Algorithm Works:
Suppose you are scrolling through your News Feed and you spend a great amount of time looking at photos of your cousin Michelle’s tropical vacation. Facebook will remember that you enjoyed Michelle’s photos so you will see more of her content on your News Feed. Conversely, if you quickly scroll past Michelle’s photos, then Facebook will assume that you are not interested and will therefore show you less of her content.
But what happens if you walk away from the computer or searches the web on a different tab with the Facebook News Feed open? A Facebook representative explained that the algorithm is able to determine if someone is actively using it or if another tab is open on the web browser, which will prevent confusing the algorithm into thinking that you like the content not being actively viewed.
It will take into account whether you spend significant amount of time on one post as compared to others in order to avoid confusion. For example, there may be times you spend 10 seconds on a post because you like it, and 10 seconds on a different post probably because of a slow Internet connection.
The focus of this algorithm is to make the News Feed more interesting and compelling for users, thereby enhancing the overall experience. According to Facebook, the update will be rolled out in the coming weeks, and would not have any significant changes in distribution of pages. But do not expect this change to work occur instantly. The algorithm will need some time to observe your behavior and sort out which information you find interesting.
Why This Change Matters:
This new algorithm is meant to make the experience of the user much better, but there are some potential detrimental effects. A recent study from PEW Research Center shows that over 60% of Millennials get their political news from Facebook. This algorithm has the potential to shape the way users perceive society because it will affect which content and news stories we will be exposed to and which ones will escape our view.
It is important to keep this in mind during the election season because Facebook users need to be aware that the opinions and stories that we all see on the web are strongly influenced by what these algorithms think we should see as opposed to what we actually want to see.
At Kraus Marketing we strive to remain knowledgeable about new and emerging trends on social media. When the new algorithm is put into effect, Kraus Marketing will thoroughly test it and provide more information at that time. To learn more about Kraus Marketing and the services we offer, contact us at (973) 998-5742 or visit us online at www.KrausMarketing.com