The following is an excerpt from Will Oremus | January 31, 2017 | Slate.com |
Facebook is constantly tinkering with its news feed algorithm, and the latest changes include yet another salvo against publishers of spammy, misleading, or otherwise irksome content. They also include what might reasonably interpreted as a salvo against Twitter—an attempt to make Facebook a better venue for breaking news and real-time discussion.
The changes, announced Tuesday in a blog post, are unlikely to make a dramatic impact in the short term. But they’re a good bellwether of the social media giant’s ever-evolving priorities. Right now it’s clear that those include making its news feed both more trustworthy and more timely—in recognition, perhaps, of the company’s growing influence as a news source.
First, the company is introducing several new criteria to its news feed ranking algorithm—the software that decides which posts you see in your feed—designed to boost what the company calls “authentic” content while downgrading inauthentic content. It’s part of a long-running effort by Facebook to keep publishers and brands from gaming the news feed by, for example, begging users to like and share their posts.
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