Understanding Facebook’s news feed algorithm and the way ahead

By Team Logicserve

  • April 28, 2017,

In the recently concluded F8 Developer conference Facebook announced a plethora of new products and tools, which are aimed to improve the user experience of millions of users around the world. Whilst there were more than 60 sessions during the course of the conference, one of the key sessions that happened at the conference from the social media marketing perspective was the Adam Mosseri’s session. During the session, Mosseri, the VO of New Feed at Facebook explained the working of the news feed algorithm and how it dictates what type of content every uses sees on his/her Facebook timeline.

Today, more than a billion people from around the world get their daily news and other insight from the platform and also FB has been the prime source for the marketers from around the world to get referral traffic. In such a circumstance, knowing the fundamentals of the system works would greatly help you as the digital marketer to get maximum benefit from the social network. In his session, Mosseri also provided details about some of the key initiatives that Facebook is looking to implement in due course. Here is a review of some of the key things Mosseri mentioned:

Source : Social Media Today

First and foremost, Mosseri gave a broad overview of the News feed. To explain to the users about how the system works, Mosseri compared the algorithm to every day decision making process and he explained the working of the system with an example of how a man decides to order a lunch for his wife at a restaurant when she is running late. He then equated those steps to the key elements the News Feed algorithm uses when ranking relevant content.

(see pic below to understand better)

Source : Social Media Today

After equating the steps with the process of the feeds, the then explained in detail how these feeds work and it determines the relevant signals. (see pic below)

Source : Social Media Today

To explain the important factors that determine what each user sees, Mosseri used an example from his own Facebook news feed; he showed a post from him brother who’s content he regularly sees and consumes. He explained that the algorithm analyzes several critical factors like who posted the content, the person’s relationship with you, the kind of content posted and what was your response to the similar kind of content posted in the past and how much engagement it has received.  (see pic below)

Source : Social Media Today

Based on the analyses of the above factors, the Facebook algorithm then makes a series of predictions. (see pic below)

Source : Social Media Today

Mosseri noted that the algorithm then consolidates the predictions int one consolidated score and the scoring is done based on the different preferences of the different individuals. It is because of this core reason that each and every New Feed is completely unique and why different people is presented with different content everyday.

Taking about the new developments to be implemented in the future, Mosseri explained that Facebook is focused on three main aspects – integrity, partnerships and discovery.

Speaking about Discovery, Mosseri said that Facebook wants to help uncover relevant information for users. The new discovery feature correlates to the secondary new feed that FB recently tested. This helps you connect with people and pages that you are not connected currently but you would be interested in based on your previous activities.

Whilst, Mosseir did not throw much light about their next testing, the users can expect Facebook to boost the discovery, which would eventually benefit the publishers and the pages by giving them more exposure to potentially interested users.

Talking about Integrity, Mosseri said that Facebook is striving to provide better support to the users as well as inform communities through the information they present. The Vice-President also noted that Facebook heavily relies on the community input to detect the potentially offensive and other problematic content and make the reporting process simple.

Source : Social Media Today

Speaking about the local news, Mosseri said that Facebook is working with several local publishers across America to collaborate with FB and empower them to distribute better connect that would interest the local folks. In terms of Monetization, Facebook announced that they will implement a new set of measures for instant articles, which would help the publishers alleviate their concerns.




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