Facebook to reveal News Feed algorithm secrets

Facebook's newest tool helps users better understand why they're seeing certain posts and ads

Facebook has undergone a lot of changes in recent weeks - from the inclusion of an "unsend" feature in Messenger, to cracking down on hate speech in the wake of the Christchurch attacks, and blocking content from white nationalists. The company intends to keep refining both features as it continues to receive user feedback.

Facebook says the feature - which will be rolled out to all users by May 2 - will help you have more control over what you see from friends, pages and groups.

The new news feed feature will show users the data that connect them to a particular type of post, Hegeman said, for example that they are friends with the poster and they've liked their posts more than others, they've frequently commented on that type of post before, or that the post is popular with users with the same interests.

The company on Sunday introduced "Why am I seeing this post?"-a new tool that provides more details about and control over the social media experience".

This will explain how your past interactions on the site impacts the ranking of posts in your News Feed and allows you to take action to further personalise what we see. All you will now need to do is tap on it to get the context behind why certain posts appear.

Long-time Facebookers may recognize the new function as the sibling of "Why am I seeing this ad?", which launched in 2014 and is also getting an upgrade.

Hoping to take away the secrecy of the timeline algorithm, users will be able to discover why certain posts, videos and ads are appearing on their timeline.

This includes how often you interact with posts from people, Pages or Groups; how often you interact with a specific type of post, for example, videos, photos or links. But the reasoning behind the posts Facebook chooses to surface on your News Feed sometimes has been a conundrum for users, leaving them scratching their heads, asking, "Why am I seeing this?"

Facebook's algorithm has always been a topic of discussion with changes hindering certain pages and posts.

"This is the first time that we've built information on how ranking works directly into the app", Facebook Product Manager Ramya Sethuraman wrote in a blog announcement. The company finally explains exactly why the News Feed displays certain posts, which should help clear up any confusion you might have.

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