New Facebook Ranking Signals For News Feed Showing You More Personally Informative Stories

Facebook wants to show you most informative stories, reducing Clickbait in Feed, adds new way to control ads, ad blockers, Guide, Heatmap for 360 videos, and 3 new video metrics.

Share online:

In their effort to show people the stories most relevant stories to them up highest in their "News Feeds", the social network company is making some improvements to New Feeds

One of our News Feed values is that the stories in your feed should be informative.

Today, they company is adding another set of many signals that effects feed ranking to better show people the stories that they find informative.

With this update, "we are creating a new ranking signal to predict what is most informative to you, so those stories appear higher in your feed," informs the social company.

Will This Impact My Pages? The company explains, they anticipate "some Pages might see a small increase in referral traffic," and "some Pages might see minor decreases."

But, most Pages won't see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. And, that Pages should continue to post stories that are relevant to their audiences and that their audiences might find informative.

Here is how Facebook's new "informative" signal works:

First, the company says, people from their Feed Quality Program rank stories appearing in their feed on a scale of one to five [1 "really not informative"] and [5 being "really informative"].

Adding, Face book said that they've found people find stories informative those were "related to their interests, if they engage people in broader discussions and if they contain news about the world around them."

The stories people "rate as informative" and "really informative" [help create a new prediction about how informative we think you'll find each story], added Facebook.

Second, because informative stories are therefore varies from person to person and will likely change over time. Facebook said, they while combining this signal — "takes into account factors like a user's relationship with the person or publisher, or what users choose to click, comment on, and share."

This latest adjustment is a follow up of recent clickbait tweaks that company had introduced earlier this month.

On August 4, the company had updated their ranking algorithm to reduce the number of "clickbait stories" people see in their news feeds.

Only those who rely solely on clickbait headlines to entice clicks, have been warned.

In a statement, the company said that most pages won't see any significant changes. However, "websites and Pages who rely on clickbait-style headlines should expect their distribution in News Feed to decrease."

According to Facebook, news feed with "clickbait" headlines will be lowered down after this change rolls out sometime in "the coming weeks."

Facebook advices users to stop writing "clickbait headlines"—instead write "compelling headlines."

They explains to reduce clickbait headlines—they're now using an automated system that identifies phrases that are commonly used in clickbait headlines. Where, previously an "update to News Feed reduced the distribution of posts that lead people to click and then quickly come back to News Feed."

To automate the process, a team at Facebook reviewed tens of thousands of headlines using a set criteria, validating each other's work to identify a large set of clickbait headlines. From there, they built a system that filter out phrases commonly used in clickbait headlines. Facebook said this work similarly to how an email spam filters work. Criteria include:

(1) if the headline withholds information required to understand what the content of the article is; and (2) if the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.

Besides, filtering clickbait headlines, the system also identifies web domains and Pages from which these clickbait articles are usually posted.

What is a clickbait headline, according to Facebook those:

  • Withhold information. These types of headlines force you to click if you want to know what it's about. Facebook used this example: "You'll Never Believe Who Tripped and Fell on the Red Carpet…"
  • Facebook used another example that misleads the reader "Apples Are Actually Bad For You?!" (apples are only bad for you if you eat too many every day).

In another announcement, the company said they're expanding the tools that give people to control their advertising experience, as well as an update to ad blocking on Facebook.

New Ad Controls

With this announcement, the company is making ad preferences easier to use, so users can "stop seeing certain types of ads." If you don't want to see ads about a certain interest like travel or cats, "you can remove the interest from your ad preferences," Facebook stated.

In addition, people can also delist themselves from the customer lists of businesses or organizations and stop seeing ads from them.

Addressing Ad Blockers

With the rise of people using ad blocking software and scripts—-Facebook has unveiled a new technology to make ad blocking software less effective.

Facebook is changing how it loads advertising onto its desktop site to make its harder for ad blockers to detect their ad units.

But because ads are not always relevant, and to stop annoying, disruptive ads, "many people have started avoiding certain websites or apps, or using ad blocking software, to stop seeing bad ads."

"We've designed our ad formats, ad performance and controls to address the underlying reasons people have turned to ad blocking software."

The company said it's now changing how it loads advertising onto its desktop site to make its harder for ad blockers to detect their ad units.[….]we'll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software[….]

Facebook notes:

"Some ad blocking companies accept money in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked — a practice that is at best confusing to people and that reduces the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services that we enjoy on the web. Facebook is one of those free services, and ads support our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected."

"Rather than paying ad blocking companies to unblock the ads we show…."

Also helping publishers who are using 360 videos, the company has rolloed out a pair of tools including "Guided tours" and "Heatmap Insights".

Guide tours lets users highlight points of interest to their 360-degree video experience. Guide is on by default. When a user watch the video, they will be taken to places of interest you select. Or, they can leave Guide mode with a simple swipe and explore your video.

Here is how to add Guide to your 360 videos:

  • First make sure to select the "This video was recorded in 360" format when uploading.
  • Then, go to the "360 Controls" tab.
  • Next, check the "Enable Guide" box.
  • Play the video, find out points of interest you want to add, then pause the video at those points and click on "+ Add Point" to add the points to your Guide.

Heatmap, is a new tab in the Video Insights tool, that show you a colored map of the "hottest" parts of your 360 videos people are spending the most time looking at.

Facebook noted, it would definitely be worthwhile to make sure you include the "hottest" parts of your video in your Guide. "This information is pulled from aggregate data of our view ports, measuring every time your viewer moves 30° within the scene," according to Facebook.

Heatmap will only be available for any videos posted since May 1 that have accumulated more than 50,000 unique views.

In addition, to help publishers understand how their videos are performing, Facebook started rolloing out three new video metrics – audience demographics, live video engagement, and views from shares and cross-posting.

These new metrics coming in Page Insights and Video Library join the already available "total minutes viewed watching a video and sound-on vs. sound-off" video metrics.

Here's a quick overview of new video metrics:

Audience Demographics located in the "Audience and Engagement" section of Video Insights, you can now discover information about your audience demographics for videos posted on Facebook.

You can see minutes viewed by Age, Gender, and Geographic location.

Live Video Viewer Engagement—let you find what parts of your Facebook Live video caused the most engagement?

By going to "Audience and Engagement" section, you can find viewer behavior metrics for: "Reactions, Comments, and Shares".

Previously, you could only track the peak number of viewers watching your live video and the number of viewers for during each moment of your broadcast.

Views from Shares & Crossposting help you compare breakdowns of views and minutes viewed from the original post with shared and cross-posted views and minutes viewed.

Go to the "Minutes Viewed" and "Views" cards to find this metric.

About The Author

Deepak Gupta is a IT & Web Consultant. He is the founder and CEO of diTii.com & DIT Technologies, where he's engaged in providing Technology Consultancy, Design and Development of Desktop, Web and Mobile applications using various tools and softwares. Sign-up for the Email for daily updates. Google+ Profile.