Marketing Madness

Facebook Makes Changes to How News Feed Stories Are Ranked

Facebook has made a change to how its News Feed stories are ranked and displayed on your Facebook account. The change that was made puts more emphasis on the speed of your internet connection to help determine which news story will be displayed next.

Before this change, News Feed stories were ranked right on Facebook servers, before they were sent to Facebook users. Then when they were transmitted to the users, they were displayed in the same order that they ranked on the servers. At first glance, this seems like it should work for everyone, however, when some stories require more data to be transmitted than others, users with slower connection speeds might end up having a less than desirable News Feed experience.

Facebook engineers Alexandru Petrescu and Sami Tas, have put together a somewhat technical article on the company’s engineering blog, explaining that Facebook is now able to rank its News Feed stories on the client side after it’s servers have sent them to your phone. The blog explains, “In our new architecture, instead of waiting to show new stories until after you’ve seen the stories we already ranked, the next best story is selected from a pool of both new stories from the server and unseen stories from the persistent cache, and then rendered in feed. This happens each time you scroll down one story. Every time the server sends another story, we can rank the story on the client and insert it in the appropriate spot in your News Feed in real time, even on a poor connection.”

Essentially, as the user scrolls through the news stories, Facebook is able to rank the possible news stories that have been added to the pool, in real time and then display them accordingly to the user. This new process of ranking news stories puts more of an emphasis on internet connection speed, as the blog explains, “This architecture also enables us to surface stories that have been optimized for your connection at the time of your session. For example, slow-loading content gets temporarily down-ranked while it loads because, before we show a story in your News Feed, we check to see whether the media in the story — the image, the video, the link preview, etc. — has been loaded on your device. If it hasn’t, we re-rank the stories on the client and prioritize those that have fully-loaded media.”

The Facebook engineers also point out that this way of ranking stories will be beneficial to all users, “These updates also will benefit people who typically have strong internet connections, as we all experience less than ideal internet connections at times.”

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Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

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  1. Well nice try FB but all you print all the news that’s fit to wrap a fish – in other words it’s yesterday’s news not today’s. By definition apparently, by the time FB ranks or tallies up how many other people are reading the story, so much time has passed that it’s no longer news. Unless FB is your only source of news, you very likely already read it somewhere else.

  2. … All you print is all the news that’s fit to wrap a fish… This will lead to what we might term “news blindness” – users will just no longer bother looking at that part of the page at all.

  3. Great to come to your site as the information shared is good and is explained in simple words. Good stuff you are created, thank you for sharing a nice article.

  4. This would be great job done by all engineer behind this change. Great to come to your site as the information shared is good and is explained in simple words.

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