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Facebook to improve News Feed by observing the time you spend on reading content

Facebook to improve News Feed by observing the time you spend on reading content

by AshwinJune 13, 2015

Social Networking giant, Facebook, has announced that it is changing the way its News Feed works, again.


A month ago, Facebook began rolling out a change for News Feed.

Prioritizing content from Friends:

The social network began to prioritize content from a user’s friends ahead of other content. To be more specific, it displays important status updates, pictures, from friends and pages that a user has liked. The News Feed would push down the comments made by friends on pages that the user hasn’t liked, to lower down in the News Feed. The intent here is to keep the user engaged on Facebook, by only displaying the content they really need.

Facebook also began asking users to rate how the News Feed works. Its kind of like a survey to get user feedback. Apparently the social network managed to get some crucial feedback.

Ranking stories by observing the time a user spends on stories:

It says that sometimes users skip a story which they like, to focus on a current event. That is, users will neither share or like or comment on the story, even if they really find it interesting, and instead move on to a more important story. This could result in users missing an important news story.

This has motivated Facebook to improve News Feed, and the order posts are displayed. To do so, it is considering ranking a News Story based on the time user spends reading it. However, it is also aware that there are hurdles in detecting the time spent on an article.

Facebook says that some users spend ten seconds to read an article they like, while others spend the same amount of time because their internet speed is slow. So, it will be using a new method to detect which posts interest a user.

Consider the following scenario:

You log in to Facebook and find several stories in your News Feed. But you keep scrolling down until you come across something interesting. It could be a funny post, or something you may find useful, but you may not have time to interact with it (Like, comment or share), and may scroll down past it.

It is by this method that Facebook will decipher if a user finds the content interesting or not. By not scrolling past the post instantly, the social network will understand that the story is important to the user, and will rank the post higher up in the News Feed.

While this seems like a great move, some users may feel that Facebook is intruding on their privacy.
This change will be rolled out within a few weeks.