Facebook announced a new tweak to its News Feed algorithm at the end of last week. Rolling out now, the social network will now take into account the time spent on stories to ensure that users’ News Feeds show the content that matters most to them.
According to software engineers Ansha Yu and Sami Tas, liking, commenting or sharing a post are not always indications of what makes a post important to us.
Following user research on how to improve content on Facebook, the site has reworked its News Feed to take into account time spent on content, as Yu and Tas explained in a newsroom post:
There are times when, for example, people want to see information about a serious current event, but don’t necessarily want to like or comment on it. Based on this finding, we are updating News Feed’s ranking to factor in a new signal — how much time you spend viewing a story in your News Feed.
Using this information, Facebook will then take similar posts or posts from the same person and move them higher up your News Feed in future.
Facebook said it does not expect Pages to see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update.