Facebook improves News Feed algorithm

In a much anticipated move, Facebook has changed its News Feed algorithm. The new algorithm rewards applications that compel their audiences to interact with them regularly. Scrabulous is a great example of a winner from this change.


Facebook News Feed with Scrabulous

Under the old algorithm, you would only see News Feed items from applications that you have installed. If all of your friends loved Scrabulous, you wouldn’t hear about it except possibly when they installed the application. I find this particular feed item from Scrabulous a bit spammy because the text doesn’t reflect anything that Ben did within the application. If it said “Ben played the word QUARTZY for 126 points” it’d be a more interesting news item.

This change also helps applications that compete with Facebook core features like the Wall and Photos. They are now on a more equal footing when it comes to promotion in the News Feed.

The additional competition for inclusion in the News Feed will hurt applications like Vampires that have large installed bases because they got in on the spam-all-your-friends bonanza when the F8 platform launched.

An earlier change by Facebook allows you to vote on News Feed items. In the screenshot above, clicking the thumbs up icon indicates that you like an item. Clicking on the “X” indicates that you don’t like an item. It’s unclear whether the vote applies to the person that the item is about or the application that generated it.

More on: Facebook


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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