Login to Facebook at any given time and you'll be sure to see a News Feed riddled with spam-like posts from Pages that you've long ago liked and have either forgotten to unlike or hide.
Facebook plans to change this - without forcing users to unlike Pages or hide them in the News Feed. The company announced on Friday that it has updated the News Feed ranking algorithm, ensuring that "organic content people see from Pages they are connected to is the most interesting to them".
To determine what factors make posts from Pages high or low quality, Facebook surveyed thousands of people. A few of the questions included: "Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (eg, asking for people to like the content)", "Would you call this a low quality post or meme?" and "Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?”
The company then used the results of the survey to develop an updated ranking algorithm that relies on a system to define high and low-quality posts. Facebook said the system examines more than 1,000 different factors, such as "how frequently content from a certain Page is reported as low quality (eg, hiding a Page post)".
Facebook even tested the new algorithm and found a significant increase in interactions. People in the test group also hid fewer stories. With such positive reactions, Facebook decided to roll out the update to everyone over the next few weeks: "Coming up with an algorithm to detect this is complex, and we will continue to refine it as we get more feedback," it said.
Facebook also recommended that Page administrators make their posts more timely and relevant, as well as build credibility and trust with their audience, among other things.
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