How Does Facebook Determine Whether Posts From Pages Are High-Quality?

When Facebook announced changes to its News Feed algorithm earlier this month, it promised to continually update its Facebook for Business page on all things News Feed. The newest installment, posted Friday, aims to clarify for page administrators how it determines which posts qualify as high-quality content.

Software Engineer Varun Kacholia shared some of the questions Facebook asked its users while working on changes to its News Feed algorithm:

  • Is this timely and relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you would trust?
  • Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you, or is it trying to game News Feed distribution (e.g., asking for people to like the content)?
  • Would you call this a low-quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?

Kacholia continued:

We used the results of this survey to build a new machine learning system to detect content defined as high-quality. The system uses more than 1,000 different factors, such as how frequently content from a certain page is reported as low-quality (e.g., hiding a page post), how complete the page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular page overlaps with the fan base of other known high-quality pages. Coming up with an algorithm to detect this is complex, and we will continue to refine it as we get more feedback.

Once we developed this algorithm, we added it to our News Feed ranking algorithms as another factor to calculate the score of a News Feed story. We tested the new version of the ranking algorithm with a small segment of our users.

By showing these high-quality posts higher up in News Feed, we saw a significant increase in interactions (likes, comments, shares) with this content.

People in the test group also hid fewer stories overall.

Targeting page admins, Kacholia offered the following advice:

For most pages, the impact should be relatively small, but pages that are seeing good engagement on their posts could see further increases in reach. The bottom line is that your page strategy should still stay the same: Produce high-quality content and optimize for engagement and reach. You can do this by focusing on these tips when creating your page posts:

  • Make your posts timely and relevant.
  • Build credibility and trust with your audience.
  • Ask yourself, “Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?”
  • Think about, “Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?”

Readers: Have you seen any noticeable change in the quality of posts in your News Feeds since Facebook announced its algorithm changes earlier this month?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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