Those of you who like to complain about Facebook changes and which posts Facebook chooses to show you, get ready to air another round of your gripes and grievances. Facebook just made a major change to which posts get shown to you. In a new algorithm that determines your News Feed — the list of posts that appear when you visit the home page or mobile app — Facebook is prioritizing (or "bumping up") posts which you have not seen, but are still getting lots of likes and comments.
Or as Jim Edwards over at Business Insider puts it, "Facebook's News Feed Will Now Punish You For Being Boring."
"Today we are announcing an update to the News Feed ranking algorithm," Facebook announced in a company blog post. "Now organic stories that people did not scroll down far enough to see can reappear near the top of News Feed if the stories are still getting lots of likes and comments."
You see, Facebook estimates they have around 1,500 different posts from your Friends and Liked fan pages that could be displayed for the average Facebook user every time that user checks Facebook. This formula of theirs determines which of these posts are likely to engage you the most, and it bumps up the posts that you supposedly like to like.
Hilariously, this will result in complaints about the new Facebook News Feed getting bumped up in your new Facebook News Feed.
But this is not a change that is going to directly make money for Facebook. This is more of a change that keeps people from losing interest in Facebook, which in turn should keep Facebook's advertising rates from declining. In May, analysts estimated that Facebook is experiencing a decline of as many as four percent of US and international visitors each month.
The Facebook overlords (they're really just software engineers) feel that you're going to visit Facebook more often if you see the more engaging posts. You want to see the good viral videos and George Takei posts that everyone's talking about. You probably don't want to see who just checked in at a TCBY or the latest autism vaccine conspiracy theories. You might be surprised how uninteresting Facebook would be if you had to sift through all the mundane, everyday crap that your friends are posting.
In beta testing, Facebook claims this new formula led to a five percent increase in likes on stories from friends, and an eight percent increase on interactions on posts from groups and public figures.