Facebook announced on Friday that they have added a new ranking factor to its News Feed algorithm which will consider the time people spend with a particular story as a determining factor in addition to shares, likes and comments.
Ansha Yu and Sami Tas, Facebook’s software engineers wrote on a blog post “We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.”
According to the latest News Feed Algorithm, Facebook will not consider the total amount of time you spend reading a particular story, but rather total time spent in comparison to the time you usually spend on other stories. For instance, if you spend 20 seconds of time with a story you found in the news feed when you usually spend less than 10 seconds, it will be considered significant.
The Facebook engineering team said “Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future.”
The speed of your Internet connection will be taken into account in the latest News Feed Algorithm, so that a slow connection is not misinterpreted as interest. According to the Facebook officials, stories posted by Pages will not be affected significantly by this change.
Earlier, Facebook depended mainly on users’ actions such as shares, likes and comments to measure the people engagement with the news feed, but time spent with a post is a much more significant factor to consider. Facebook has also reduced how often the click-bait, overly promotional stories and hoaxes show up in our News Feed.