Facebook Is Changing How Your News Feed Works

PHOTO:A woman checks the Facebook Inc. site on her smartphone while standing against an illuminated wall bearing the Facebook Inc. logo in this arranged photograph in London, Dec. 23, 2015. Bloomberg via Getty Images
A woman checks the Facebook Inc. site on her smartphone while standing against an illuminated wall bearing the Facebook Inc. logo in this arranged photograph in London, Dec. 23, 2015.

The key to getting visibility in a Facebook News Feed is no longer just about how many likes and comments a post receives.

The social network is now relying on user feedback to help it deliver a more meaningful News Feed experience to its 1.6 billion users, according to a blog post from Facebook software engineers Cheng Zhang and Si Chen.

"The actions people take on Facebook -- liking, clicking, commenting or sharing a post -- are historically some of the main factors considered to determine what to show at the top of your News Feed. But these factors don’t always tell us the whole story of what is most meaningful to you," they wrote.

The changes in Facebook's algorithm come from survey feedback Facebook has received from a focus group of more than 1,000 people who were asked to rate their experience on the site and suggest how Facebook can improve the content they get in their News Feed. Facebook's team also surveyed tens of thousands of people around the world every day, asking them to rate stories they see in their News Feed from one to five stars.

Facebook's engineers said they were able to use this information to understand what stories matter the most to people, even if they choose not to click, like or comment on them.

The result is an updated algorithm that will weigh the level of engagement on a post as well as the likelihood a user may want to see it at the top of their feed.

Facebook also made key changes to News Feed last summer when it began allowing users to take control of their News Feed preference, allowing users to select group of pages and friends whose posts Facebook promises to always share first at the top of a user's News Feed.