Facebook Polling Users To Find “Most Informative” Stories For News Feed

Image courtesy of Facebook

In its quest to show users exactly what they want to see, when they want to see it, Facebook is tweaking its news feed algorithm yet again, this time based on user polling.

Citing “core values” the company relies on to guide the changes it makes to the News Feed, Facebook says one of its goals is to show stories that are informative. What exactly that means is personal for each user — maybe an article on cheese-making is informative to me, but not so much to a cheesemonger, for example.

To crack the code of what’s informative for each person, Facebook says it’s using global crowd-sourced surveys of tens of thousands of people per day through its Feed Quality program. It’s updating the algorithm now by creating a new ranking signal to predict what is most informative to users, which means those stories will appear higher in their feed.

First, Facebook looks at stories that people rank as informative in the Feed Quality Program, using a scale of one to five — one being “really not informative” and five being “really informative.”

“Generally, we’ve found people find stories informative if they are related to their interests, if they engage people in broader discussions and if they contain news about the world around them,” Facebook says.

That signal is then combined with how relevant Facebook thinks the story will be to you personally, “taking into account things like your relationship with the person or publisher that posted, or what you choose to click on, comment on or share — to best predict stories that you might personally find informative.”

Informative stories will likely change over time, as Facebook keeps tracks of your likes, dislikes, clicks, and all the other things it’s got an eye on.