Facebook Lifts Curtain on News Feed Algorithm


"People wanted to be able to take action, so we've made it easy to manage what you see in News Feed right from this feature", said the post. Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a new "Why am I seeing this post?" feature in News Feed.

If you've ever wondered why you are seeing the world's most insane news articles on Facebook, beyond it being Facebook, then you're in luck.

Other social giants like Twitter and YouTube have been criticised for recommending content without explaining why they are appearing to users. That's why Facebook, perhaps in an attempt to satisfy critics and regulators, is now giving users even deeper insight into what gets included in their News Feed, including why you're seeing ads from certain companies. The resulting information screen will show generally obvious information about the source of the post, like the fact that the two accounts are friends, or that the user follows the page that posted the content.

"The basic thing that this tool does is let people see why they are seeing a particular post in their news feed, and it helps them access the actions they might want to take if they want to change that", Facebook's Head of News Feed John Hegeman told reporters on Monday.

"This is the first time that we've built information on how ranking works directly into the app", Sethuraman said. Second, it's not clear just how much Facebook users will now know about why posts appear and what the company knows about them even with this tool.

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.

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In addition to posts, Facebook is also adding some improvements to its "Why am I seeing this ad?" feature, which was introduced in 2014.

Plus, you'll be able to see if the popularity of a post shared affected its ranking in your feed.

"Why am I seeing this ad?" 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", said the post.

The new button menu will also include links to personalisation options, including See First, News Feed Preferences and Unfollow.

Both these updates work together to make Facebook algorithms more transparent and within individual users' control.