Our Facebook overlords are changing the News Feed algorithm to make content more appealing. Starting today, the algorithm will look at two new signals: the probability you’ll want to see a story at the top of the News Feed and the likelihood you’ll like, comment on, click or share a story.
The changes were based on user surveys about News Feed content, surveys asked ‘tens of thousands’ of users to rate stories in their feeds daily. From that data, Facebook is able to rank which stories users would be interested in seeing in the top of their News Feed.
“News Feed will begin to look at both the probability that [users] would want to see the story at the top of [their] feed and the probability that [they] will like, comment on, click or share a story,” Cheng Zhang and Si Chen, software engineers at Facebook, said in a co-authored blog post.
“We will rank stories higher in feeds which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see near the top of their News Feed,” they said.
This change is significant to Page owners and publishers, according to Zhang and Chen, “some Pages may see some increases in referral traffic, and some Pages may see some declines in referral traffic…Pages might see some declines in referral traffic if the rate at which their stories are clicked on does not match how much people report wanting to see those stories near the top of their News Feed.”
Pages that will be adversely affected might see declines in referral traffic are most likely ones that are posting more frequently than people report wanting to see such stories near the top of their News Feed. So be warned.