Last week there was a fair amount of chatter around a couple of proposed changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm, by way of “Story Bumping” and “Chronological By Actor“. The former will push stories you haven’t yet seen to the top of your news feed, while the latter will group together updates from the same person, which is likely to disrupt the overall chronological continuity of the News Feed.
Predictably, the comments sections of the various news sites that reported on these stories were filled with an overwhelming majority of people who are angry about being second guessed with regards to what Facebook thinks they want to see.
Many bemoaned the fact that even when we tell Facebook what we want to see, the setting never sticks (how many times have you had to reconfigure your News Feed to show ‘Most Recent?), and I’m going to have to personally agree with that particular gripe – it really tests my patience.
The News Feed has long been something of a tricky area for Facebook, and one that the team working on it know is a tough nut to crack, as Lars Backstrom told TechCrunch: “In some ways it’s a harder problem because relevance is subjective… the only person who can tell if your feed is relevant is you.”
Which then begs the question, why do they keep messing around with it? Why can’t people simply see a chronological stream of content from the people they have chosen to receive content from, rather than selected items from select people, sandwiched between often irrelevant adverts and all in a jumbled order.
What are you thoughts on the Facebook News Feed, and how would you like to see it develop in the future? Leave a comment below with your opinion.