Facebook reveals how the News Feed algorithm works

Facebook gives you more control over what you see in your News Feed

It will help users understand why they're seeing what they see from the friends, pages and groups they follow and are connected to.

Following scandals surrounding the social networking giant on misusing user-information for ad targeting, this feature comes as Facebook's first step to explain to users exactly how the News Feed gets personalised on the platform. Which is a shame, from Facebook's perspective at any rate, since the News Feed is so core to how people interact with the largest social network in the world. You're about to find out, thanks to a new feature that's being introduced by the company.

The site has also announced an update to its advertising tools which will allow users to more transparently see how they were targeted by an advertiser on the site.

And even though the reasoning behind why certain posts get ranked high in the News Feed, and why some don't even get surfaced at all, has baffled and confounded users for years, Facebook has now finally chose to start explaining itself.

The new news feed tab will show a user's recent activity that helped the site's algorithms reach its decision, including any links or interactions with the posting account and if they have a history of reading posts from that account.

Additionally, the various reactions each user has had in the past with these posts will play a part in what features on an individual's News Feed.

The tool will offer insights such as: "You've commented on posts with photos more than other media types".

Facebook ads, however, are probably more worrying than those posts. More importantly, Facebook actually links you to settings where you can fine tune what you see on your Feed. This involves showing statistics such as how often you've interacted with certain people/Pages/Groups, the popularity of the post compared to others with the same origin, and how often you interact with specific types of posts. At any rate, Facebook product manager Ramya Sethuraman explains in a company blog post that Facebook has launched a new tool called "Why am I seeing this post?" that will for the first time show how post-ranking works in the app.

The "Why am I seeing this post?" feature expands on Facebook's "Why am I seeing this ad?" tool that rolled out to Facebook ads in 2014.

They said they will now provide details such as when the advertiser uploaded the information or if the advertiser worked with another marketing partner to run the ad.

The idea behind this new feature according to Facebook is to give people more control over their News Feed.

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