Facebook Wants to Know If You Really Want to See That Viral Post in News Feed

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Facebook has been conducting user surveys to fine-tune News Feed for quite some time, and the social network provided more details on those efforts in a Newsroom post.

Software engineer Sami Tas and data scientist Ta Virot Chiraphadhanakul wrote about the surveys:

As part of our ongoing effort to improve News Feed, we ask thousands of people every day to rate their experience and tell us how we can improve what they see when they check Facebook. People also take story surveys where they see two stories that could be in their News Feed and answer which they’d most want to see. We compare their answer to the order we would have put these stories in their News Feed. If the story picked is the one News Feed would have shown higher up, that’s a good sign that things are working well. If the story picked is the one we would have put lower down, this highlights an area for improvement.

Tas and Chiraphadhanakul also discussed how the social network tries to determine which viral posts are interesting to Facebook users and which they would rather not see:

We survey tens of thousands of people every day, and for the story surveys, we ask them if they prefer a particular viral post to another post. With this update, if a significant amount of people tell us they would prefer to see other posts more than that particular viral post, we’ll take that into account when ranking, so that viral post might show up lower in people’s feeds in the future, since it might not actually be interesting to people. With the hoaxes example, if the majority of people taking the survey say they would rather see another story in their feed than the viral hoax story, then we’ll infer the story might not be as interesting, and show the viral story lower down in people’s feeds in the future.

As for the potential impact on pages, they wrote:

As viral posts are typically anomalies, and not an important part of distribution for pages, we don’t think this change will impact your page’s distribution.

Readers: Have you ever taken one of Facebook’s News Feed surveys?

ImproveYourNewsFeedSurvey

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Quick Tip – Searching Your Facebook Timeline For A Specific Post

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Three different people asked me similar questions about Facebook in the last month, which leads me to believe that even though this capability has existing for a while, some folks aren’t aware that you can search your Facebook feed for a post from the past. And it’s not just posts from the last week, it’s posts that go back years.

When Facebook introduced their updated search graph a couple years ago, one of the capabilities was the ability to search for posts from a specific person or even posted by you. As an example, I wrote a few haikus on Facebook a while back and I wanted to show them to my daughter while she was in the process of writing a haiku for school. In order to do that, I needed to search my own posts for the keyword “haiku”.

To do this, I simply typed “Posts by me with Haiku” and Facebook returned all posts where I was the author and I included the word “haiku” (don’t judge my poetry).

Quick Tip – Searching Your Facebook Timeline For A Specific Post | Social Media TodayCan’t find the awesome infographic that one of your friends posted about social media community management? Just use a query like “Posts by my friends social media management” or even “Posts liked by me social media management”. While most people use the search function to find friends, it really does offer a pretty robust content search capability.

There you have it. Search capability that allows you to find those posts you were looking for or had maybe even forgotten about. If you really want to dig in and learn more about Facebook search and all of it’s robust commands, there’s a pretty good help section on Facebook dedicated just to search.

Hope that helps others out there.

This post originally appeared on Sean Nicholson’s website

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