Facebook recently announced some changes to its News Feed, it says that these changes are being made to show more relevant content to users in their News Feed. The company said that it would analyze a wide variety of factors to determine which content to show and what to hide. This has got a lot of publishers worried, who don’t know exactly what factors can brand their content high or low quality, which would ultimately result in their content being shown or not shown to their fans. Facebook News Feed manage Lars Backstrom tells AllThingsD that the company is trying to align its definition of value, value of content being shown that is, with that of its users.
When asked if Facebook was paying any attention to the source of the content, Backstrom said that “it’s mostly oriented around the source.” As the company refines its approach, it will start distinguishing more and more between different types of content. At this point in time though, Facebook’s definition of “high quality” content worthy of being shown in a News Feed is “mostly at the source level,” according to Backstrom. Basically what this means is that the content will be branded high or low quality based on the branding of a particular publisher.
Many people have the misconception that Facebook is making these changes so as to clamp down to meme based content that redirects users to other websites, which make money off that traffic. Backstorm says that Facebook isn’t targeting any particular category of content. Backstrom says that Facebook’s ultimate goal is to provide user value, and if people find out ways to game its algorithms, the company has to adapt and respond by upping its game as well.