Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s News Feed is a hot topic right now and for a very good reason. The social media giant’s engineers recently shared some details regarding their News Feed ranking system.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s engineering manager Lars Backstrom offered an explanation as to how the website sorts through posts. He explained that Facebook sorts through tens of thousands of potential posts. Given the median number of 1,500 possible posts, Facebook selects about 300 of them based on an algorithm of educated guesses on what the user wants to see. Moreover, each post is given a score and then placed depending on the score.
Backstrom explained, “Its a very personalized thing, it depends on your relationship to your person, what things you’ve liked in the past. It’s really hard for users to get back to old things, you have to scroll back to things you’ve already seen.”
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s engineering team hopes that by being transparent, they can shine some light on why they made these changes. Facebook also has a blog for fans who are interested in their “reasoning” for changing the algorithm. The engineering team meets up once each week to discuss possible improvements for the news feed system.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) rolled the new system out to 80 percent of their employees in order to test the ranking. The test group discovered that comments, likes, and shares on a friend’s post increased up to 5%. Businesses and fan page users noticed an increase of 8%. Overall, this test group read 57% to 70% more stories.
Social media is big business and although these changes may offer something at the start, it could also drive away the customer base. This could particularly be the case if Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users tire of these changes and set their sights on another social media platform that won’t be so clearly leveraging their personal discussions for financial gain.