Facebook News Feed has received two recent upgrades – first, improved quality of news discovery and second, mobile page loading times.
News Feed constantly updates the list of stories that are fed into it, which includes status updates, photos, videos, and likes from people and groups that the user follows on Facebook. News Feed’s primary focus is to pull relevant stories out of several thousand potential stories that appear each day in the Feed and prioritize them in the top ten for quick access.
Facebook has been constantly finding ways to crack down on fake news after last year’s incident. Facebook was criticized for the fake news stories that went viral during the U.S. presidential election 2016. Since then, the social network has taken measures to combat the spread of false information on the platform. It is also proactive in taking measures ahead of any such big event, and is working on solutions to reduce the reach and impact of fake news.
In connection with the effort, Facebook has rolled out ‘Related Articles’, which provides additional perspectives and information on stories shared on News Feeds. The main objective of Related Stories is to make users aware of the facts. It was first launched as a test app in April and, on Thursday last week, it started rolling out after broadly receiving positive feedback from the users. It was first launched in the U.S, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
Facebook’s effort continues with machine learning to identify hoaxes and send more stories to third-party fact checkers.
Facebook has also announced plans to prioritize stories that load faster on the user mobile News Feed. For publishers, optimizing web pages for speed becomes an important priority, as slow-loading pages will move out of focus and suffer low engagement from users. This initiative is also expected to help cut down spammy links.