Facebook has stated that there are 1,500 posts per day in an average user’s newsfeed. They’ve determined that if there is too much available, user interaction decreases. For that reason they’ve developed an algorithm that uses your past behavior to determine what you see in your newsfeed.
A summary of why they do this from Facebook themselves.
“The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. Ideally, we want News Feed to show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.
This is no small technical feat: every time someone visits News Feed there are on average 1,5001 potential stories from friends, people they follow and Pages for them to see, and most people don’t have enough time to see them all. These stories include everything from wedding photos posted by a best friend, to an acquaintance checking in to a restaurant.
With so many stories, there is a good chance people would miss something they wanted to see if we displayed a continuous, unranked stream of information. Our ranking isn’t perfect, but in our tests, when we stop ranking and instead show posts in chronological order, the number of stories people read and the likes and comments they make decrease.
So how does News Feed know which of those 1,500 stories to show? By letting people decide who and what to connect with, and by listening to feedback. When a user likes something, that tells News Feed that they want to see more of it; when they hide something, that tells News Feed to display less of that content in the future. This allows us to prioritize an average of 300 stories out of these 1,500 stories to show each day.”
How do they choose which 300 of the 1,500 available stories to show you? By which content you interact with most. They look at what and from whom, you like, comment , share and interact to determine what will interest you most. Their algorithms have long been secretive, but recently they have published content to add clarity. From the same article:
“The News Feed algorithm responds to signals from you, including, for example:
- How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
- The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
- How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
- Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post”
The new factors include STORY BUMPING, which means that popular posts that you may have missed may be shown at the top of your newsfeed hours later when you log on.
The other update is LAST ACTOR which as reported by Forbes Magazine takes it’s cues from the last 50 interactions that you have had with liking or commenting someone’s content to decide what will be prominent in your newsfeed.
One other small change Facebook made, called “Last Actor,” bumps up content from someone who a person has shown an interest in. If you have “Liked” or commented on someone’s content, that person’s content will show up higher in the feed the next time. Facebook is taking the signal from the last 50 interactions you’ve had with content.
We hope this will clear up some of the confusion about why the newsfeed has had some different posts showing. If you would like to read the Facebook article referenced above in it’s entirety, you can do so here.
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