Facebook has recently started conducting surveys to receive feedback from its users. The goal of these surveys is to improve user experience and to provide more relevant stories in users’ News Feed.
As per a recent blog entry, Facebook is asking over a thousand users to rate their experience everyday and let Facebook know how the content they see on their Facebook feed can be improved, a process which Facebook refers to as “Feed Quality Panel.”
In addition, Facebook is also surveying tens of thousands of users around the world everyday to learn more about how well Facebook is ranking each person’s feed.
To understand more about what users prefer to see in their feed when they check Facebook, users are being asked to rate stories based on “how much did you want to see this story in your News Feed?” Users can respond to this question by giving stories a rating of up to five stars according to how much they wanted to see similar stories in their feed. Based on their ratings, users will see stories they prefer on top of their news feed.
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.
The process of surveying helps Facebook understand users’ interests “even if they choose not to click, like or comment on them.” Facebook uses algorithms to determine what people see based on each user’s connections and activity. Coming algorithm updates will include the probability that users want to see and how likely they are to engage with the given stories.
By making such changes to news feed, Facebook wants to give users content they are most likely to engage with.
We saw through our research that people reported having a better News Feed experience when the stories they see at the top are stories they are both likely to rate highly if asked and likely to engage with.
News Feed Changes and Their Affect on Pages
How will this affect Facebook Pages depends on the scope of their audience, how frequently a page is updated and what it posts. Facebook recommends brands not to encourage users to engage with their content like encouraging clicks. If the rate of clicks on stories and users’ reporting of wanting to see those stories does not match, Pages might see a drop in referral traffic.
This update should not impact reach or referral traffic meaningfully for the majority of Pages; however, some Pages may see some increases in referral traffic, and some Pages may see some declines in referral traffic.
Pages might see some declines in referral traffic if the rate at which their stories are clicked on does not match how much people report wanting to see those stories near the top of their News Feed.
This makes two things clear. Facebook is moving ahead to show more relevant content in your news feed. So when you check Facebook, you will be seeing content you’re likely to engage with. On top of the feed, you will see content that you reported as “more relevant” to you. Other stories will still be there, but after the relevant content.
This will also help brands to better understand what their fans actually want to see in their news feed. Brands will now publish more meaningful content for their audience, helping both the brand as well as users.