Facebook is making further improvements to the way users read articles through its News Feed, and which articles are shown to them.
A new blog post by the social media platform’s Software Engineer Moshe Blank and Research Scientist Jie Xu, has announced the company is now using its Feed Quality Program to understand the meanings of the actions people take on Facebook.
Using the feedback from its users, the site found that individuals are not necessarily inclined to “like”, click or comment on the content they find most interesting, including news articles or updates from their friends.
Instead, Facebook found that the time spent reading or watching content they find on their News Feed is actually the best indicator of whether it was of interest to them.
Because of this, Facebook is now adding a new ranking system that predicts how long users will spend looking at an article.
This new update will consider how likely a person is to click on an article and then spend time interacting with it once it has fully loaded.
Additionally, Facebook will also be monitoring the time a user spends within a particular threshold, in order to obtain further time accuracy that is relevant to the length of an article.
Facebook will also be working to provide its users with a choice of articles from a wider range of publishers, as well as reducing how often people see posts from one source, which it believes will help eradicate repetition on a person’s News Feed.
Commenting on this update, Blank and Xu said: “With this change, we can better understand which articles might be interesting to you based on how long you and others read them, so you’ll be more likely to see stories you’re interested in reading.
“This change only factors in the time people spend reading an article regardless of whether that time is spent reading an Instant Article or an article in the mobile web browser.”
These new changes have begun to roll out to Facebook’s users, and will continue to appear over the coming weeks.
Find out more about the update here.