Notes from underground

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Here’s How Facebook’s News Feed Actually Works | TIME

facebookLDFacebook is one of the most popular web sites on earth, but most of us have at times felt that we are being manipulated and messed around by Facebook’s algorithms — showing you lots of stuff you have no interest in, and missing out things that are vital.

If you don’t “like” enough things that someone posts, Facebook stops showing that person’s posts to you, so after not seeing anythimng from them for several weeks and wondering if they are ill or have died, you look them up and “like” everything in sight, whether you actually like it or not.

This article suggests that that is about to change.

Facebook is injecting a human element into the way News Feed operates. The company’s growing army of human raters help the social network improve the News Feed experience in ways that can’t easily be measured by “Likes.” A new curation tool launching Thursday, for instance, called “See First” will let any user choose which of their friends they want to see at the top of the feed, rather than having the decision dictated by an algorithm. via Here’s How Facebook’s News Feed Actually Works | TIME.

I have a suggestion for Facebook, to improve this for users.

First, that they should allow one to categorise things that one posts. Categories could include things like:

  • Vital family events – birth, marriage, death, serious illness
  • Other family events – moving/renovating home, graduation, holidays etc
  • Work-related stuff
  • Recreation, hobbies, travel etc
  • Religion, spirituality etc
  • Society – politics, economics etc
  • Art & literature
  • Travel
  • Technology
  • General

And then allow you to say which kind of stuff you would like to see from any particular friend.

That would do a great deal to improve the Facebook “user experience”.


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5 thoughts on “Here’s How Facebook’s News Feed Actually Works | TIME

  1. Yes, why can’t you tag your posts, and say you don’t want to see a certain friend’s food porn or baby pictures or political rants without having to ignore all their posts?

  2. This is a good idea, but I think it might be too complicated for most people to manage. We live in a world where many people on Facebook don’t even realise they’re using the Internet! 😛

    Of course, you do realise that it’s not just Liking that does it, right? It’s any kind of interaction – commenting, sharing… even clicking a link to an article they’ve shared, or clicking on their photo to enlarge it, counts as an interaction for that purpose. They’ll never know you did it, but Facebook does, and based on that it knows that you’re interested in that person’s posts. 🙂

    • And even clinging on the “See Translation” link.

      • lol only ever click that link if you’re in the mood for a laugh. It uses Bing Translate, which is the most ineffective translation engine ever.

        You’re better off copying the text and pasting it into Google Translate, which gets it near-perfect, almost 99% of the time! 😉

  3. I have manipulated my Facebook feed to an extent by categorizing my friends. The new tool has the potential to enhance this.

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