Facebook tweaks its newsfeed, yet again, so you'll see more posts from people you actually know


When it's not messing around with privacy settings and manipulating trending topics, there's nothing Facebook seems to like more than to tinker with timelines. Today the social network announces the latest changes to your newsfeed -- now you should see more posts from your friends and family.

The problem we currently face, Facebook says, is that there is "far too much information for any one person to consume". This is where algorithms come into play, meddling with timelines and newsfeeds in ways that never please everyone. The latest change promises that content from "the friends you care about" will appear "higher up in your News Feed".

Announcing the latest newsfeed tweaks, Facebook admits that "if the ranking is off, people don’t engage, and leave dissatisfied". People becoming dissatisfied and leaving, failing to engage, goes against everything Facebook stands for, so it's doing something about it.

What does this mean? Well, Facebook says that posts from your nearest and dearest will be given priority over content from other people. There is, of course, still an algorithm working away in the background:

To help make sure you don't miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, we put those posts toward the top of your News Feed. We learn from you and adapt over time. For example, if you tend to like photos from your sister, we'll start putting her posts closer to the top of your feed so you won't miss what she posted while you were away.

The company goes further to share what it has already learned about people's expectations from their newsfeeds:

  • Your feed should inform. People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them -- and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting -- this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe. We're always working to better understand what is interesting and informative to you personally, so those stories appear higher up in your feed.
  • Your feed should entertain. We've also found that people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment. For some people, that's following a celebrity or athlete; for others it's watching Live videos and sharing funny photos with their friends. We work hard to try to understand and predict what posts on Facebook you find entertaining to make sure you don’t miss out on those.

While this latest change is good news for individuals, the news is a little bleaker for Facebook pages.  Facebook admits as much, saying: "Overall, we anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages".

The changes are rolling out over the next couple of weeks from today, so watch out for differences in the content you see.

Photo credit: Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock

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