Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced that it will display the most popular posts on the news feeds of its users longer as part of its continued effort to improve the service. The social network giant made the change in response to user comments requesting Facebook to do a better job in communicating updates on their news feeds.
Lars Backstrom, one of the engineers at Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), explained that the objective of the news feed is to “deliver the right content to the right people” and to ensure that they will not miss the stories important to them. According to Bakstrom, the social network giant wants News Feed to deliver all posts to users based on their level of importance.
Prioritizing posts makes for greater engagement
Backstrom emphasized that sorting the most important stories for users is “no small technical feat” given the diversity of stories from wedding photos posted by a best friend down to an acquaintance checking in a restaurant.
He said there is a possibility that people would miss the stories that matter to them if the company displays news feed posts continuously without ranking. Backstrom admitted that the current ranking algorithm of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is not perfect, but he explained that the number of stories read by people, and the likes and comments they make, decreased when they showed posts in chronological order without ranking.
Facebook to roll out 15 second commercials on News Feed
Backstrom explained that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) ranks post on the News Feed by listening to feedback and allowing users to decide with whom and what they want to connect with. He said, “When a user likes something; that tells news feed that they want to see more of it; when they hide something; that tells news feed to show less of that content in the future.” He said the method allows the company to prioritize 300 out of 1,500 stories.
Last March, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) opined that a better News Feed user experience could increase engagement and monetization for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). It has been reported the social network giant is planning to launch 15-second TV style commercials on News Feed later this year. Observers in the tech industry believe that such plan offers a huge opportunity for the company.
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analysts Scott Devitt, Jordan Monahan, and John Egbert estimated that the planned video ad units would contribute around 10% of ad revenue for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) next year, and it would boost the total earnings and revenue of the company by 10% to 15% within 1-2 years.