Facebook Lifts Curtain on News Feed Algorithm

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

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.

Hoping to take away the secrecy of the timeline algorithm, account holders will be able to discover why certain posts, videos and ads are appearing on their timeline and "take action to further personalise what you see".

Facebook said the new feature was created to help users "better understand and more easily control what you see from friends, pages and groups in your news feed". The good news is that Facebook is opening up about how your News Feed is managed, but the bad news is that you can't actually control any of the work that goes into showing you posts, so you can't tailor anything to your needs.

For example, they may be friends with the poster and liked their posts more than others or frequently commented on that type of post before.

"This is the first time that we've built information on how ranking works directly into the app", Facebook Product Manager Ramya Sethuraman said in the blog.

A new button will show you how your previous activity on the social network has led its algorithms to prioritise contain from certain people, groups and organisations.

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Facebook's new tool - why am I seeing this post?

The feature, found in the drop down menu of the post, explains in detail why you are seeing the post.

The company shifted its strategy for its centrepiece news feed in early 2018 when it chose to prioritize posts from family and friends and downgrade non-advertising content from publishers and brands.

This move for more transparency comes soon after Mark Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post explaining that Facebook may need regulations to help address its "massive responsibilities". Tapping on the "Why am I seeing this post?" item on the menu reveals exactly why, mostly because you've followed that person or joined a group related to it.

That ads tool is also getting an update, Facebook announced, so that users will soon be able to see if advertisers worked with marketing partners on specific ads, and when advertisers uploaded targeting information that causes the ad to be shown in the first place.

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".

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