It is no secret by now that Facebook is pretty much constantly toying with the News Feed algorithm and trying to improve what you see and when you see it. Despite what may be their best efforts, my experience has always been hit and miss. The algorithm has a tendency to throw up outdated posts at the top of my feed when they are no longer relevant.
The most typical example on my feed is when Facebook throws up a post to the top about a football match kicking off. Except it never seems to have the post at the top when the match is starting, instead it always seems to appear around 24 hours after the game has ended.
Now the social network is going to take two different factors into consideration when deciding what to show you. The company announced the following in a blog post yesterday.
“News Feed will begin to look at both the probability that you would want to see the story at the top of your feed and the probability that you will like, comment on, click or share a story.”
So basically Facebook will try to use what it knows about you to show you things you want to see and respond to. Ideally, Facebook only wants to show you things you have an interest interacting with. It is not clear how this is going to work so how much data does Facebook have on us?
The answer is a lot of data. Your news feed is shaped by content you tap on, like, comment on and interact with which means theoretically you shouldn’t see any junk. Add into that the fact that a lot of us will use Instagram and WhatsApp too which are owned by Facebook.
Now we don’t know for certain if Facebook is using data from those apps to tailor your main Facebook experience on your news feed but the reality is that there is nothing to stop them doing it if they wanted to.
That just leaves us with the regular reminder we like to throw out there from time to time that every thing you do on Facebook from liking to commenting or even opening a link is a data point that are being compiled for Facebook to decide what they should be showing you next. You would be alarmed at how much data they can get from how you use Facebook over the period of several years.