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Facebook News Feed shakes up to prioritize the most viewed and time spent sites

Facebook is at it again, changing the way its News Feed highlights links to those sites that it feels users are more likely to be spending their time at.

The current effort is part of what Facebook prefers to call as ‘Feed Quality Program.

‘It forms part of a continuous endeavour on the part of Facebook to improve the News Feed experience of each of its users and is based on the feedback it received from the several thousand of its users who are asked every day if they are satisfied with the stuff that is depicted in their News Feed.

Based on these surveys, the one thing that hit Facebook the most is that user’s actions on the social media site which include liking, sharing, or commenting on a post do not make up the entire picture of what ultimately is most meaningful to them.

An example that Facebook cited is that a user may not eventually react to an article or a video which again could be a serious issue or a sad news, but that does not mean the user is not interested in having such news items on their News Feed.

Another aspect that Facebook will be factoring in strongly towards devising what can be considered the perfect News Feed for the particular user is the time the user actually spends in reading or watching a content they have clicked upon. The time counted is equally applicable to Instant Articles or any article loaded via the Facebook mobile browser but excludes the load times in both cases.

Another viewing trait of the user that Facebook said they have noticed is that users prefer to read articles from different publishers. However, while Facebook will be glad to serve its users articles from various sources, it will also be wary about not overwhelming the user with just too many repetitive articles dealing with the same topic even if they are from different publishers.

Focus will also be focussing on the author whose posts are liked or read the most, how users tend to reach to the particular author’s post vis-a-vis the topic of the post and so on. How recent the article is will also determine how likely it is to end up on a user’s News Feed.

With these changes, Facebook is pretty much confident of having more of such articles in the News Feed that users actually care about though of course, the entire thing forms a continuous learning experience, which means newer algorithms will continue to evolve to replace existing ones and so on.