Facebook is taking a new, proactive approach to tweaking their news feed algorithm, in an attempt to “show you more interesting updates.”
We noticed a new poll appearing on the right-hand side of the Facebook homepage – dispersed inside the ads. It asks users how well they know certain friends and provides these five options: One of my best friends; I know them well; We sometimes meet; An acquaintance; and I don’t know them.
Facebook says your response is private, and it will be used to show better content in the news feed.
As you know, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm “uses several factors to determine top stories, including the number of comments, who posted the story, and what type of post it is.”
And if you don’t like the mix of what you’re seeing – you can always go fiddle with it manually. But this little questionnaire is just one way Facebook is attempting to better learn who you really want to hear from inside your feed.
Facebook’s News Feed product is in the process of getting an upgrade, of course. Back in March, the company unveiled the new news feed – a much more visual experience that gives users more control over what types of feeds they browse. Alongside the default News Feed that pulls in top stories and recent stories, users will be able to browse feeds of “all friend”: activity, as well as hyper-specific feeds for photos, music, games, groups, and more.
But the New News Feed rollout has been slow. Facebook warned us that it would be – and they weren’t lying.
But it looks like Facebook is trying to make its algorithms better, so that your news feed will continue to show you the most relevant content. And they’re making me make decisions about just how much I like some of my friends.