Facebook Will Try to Stop Showing You Old, Irrelevant Posts

By Kate Knibbs on at

Facebook just announced its latest plan to fix Newsfeed, promising to show more timely content. Out with the old, in with the relevant and new.

It looks like the change was spurred by everyone complaining when old crap kept popping to the top of their Newsfeeds:

We've heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show. There are also times when a post that is a day or two old may not be relevant to you anymore.

Facebook has two tactics to keep our Newsfeeds full of relevant stuff. First, they're going to factor in trending topics to help timely posts go to the top while they're still interesting. This means you'll have a better chance of seeing someone's footie-related post while the game is actually going on.

Facebook will also look at when people like and comment on posts, to figure out if the post was only momentarily interesting. or if it has staying power.

If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date. Based on this signal it is more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.

So far, so good. Except Facebook made sure to note that the algorithm change won't be enough to impact how posts from Pages are received... so it may not be enough of a tweak for anyone to notice it. Newsfeed's algorithm still sucks, and it's going to need a bigger overhaul than a few minor adjustments to truly improve the feed for most of us.