This article was published on September 18, 2014

Facebook tweaks News Feed algorithm to take timeliness into account

Facebook tweaks News Feed algorithm to take timeliness into account

Facebook announced today two changes to its News Feed ranking algorithm that will take into account how timely a post from a friend or a Page is when deciding whether to show it.

News Feed will now track the latest trends and display posts related to those topics more quickly. For instance, if a newly-released movie is trending, Facebook may prioritize posts about that movie because they are more timely. Tests of the new feature showed a 6 percent increase in user engagement when in effect.

Facebook will also now take into account how likes and shares of a post trail off when deciding whether to include in your News Feed. Rather than just counting the total number of likes a post has received, the algorithm will take note whether the likes happened in the first few hours after the post went up. If engagement has died down, Facebook will take it as a sign that the post is now less relevant.

The new ranking will help Facebook evaluate whether to bump older posts to the top of your feed. Posts that have a long tail of engagement will surface more often, while content that has passed its window will stay buried.

Facebook is rolling out the changes gradually. The company informed Page owners that it doesn’t expect “significant changes in distribution.” However, some publishers will find that time-sensitive posts will have greater reach earlier on in the lifecycle and diminished distribution later on.

News Feed FYI: Showing More Timely Stories from Friends and Pages [Facebook Newsroom]

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