Facebook’s News Feed has always been something of a mystery.
Some posts show up in the feed, some don't. The feed has become overrun with all sorts of content and Facebook uses an algorithm to manage it.
But no algorithm is perfect.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg found this out when the top story in his feed was a co-worker's birthday. At the same time, his niece had been born.
According to a new Steven Levy story in Wired, when Zuckerberg saw his co-worker's birthday ranking ahead of his niece's birth, he asked for a tweak to Facebook's News Feed algorithm.
The tweak was that if the word “congratulations” is in the comments, a post gets a boost. This makes sense because congratulations is the No. 1 thing people say in response to huge events, like an engagement, a graduation, a new baby, or a new job—exactly the kind of stuff that Facebook wants to surface.
“We’re testing a lot of things every day to figure out what’s going to make the most engaging feed,” Zuckerberg tells Levy. “We use quantitative metrics that measure likes and comments and clicks and shares and other activities to see if a story is good, but we also have qualitative systems so that people can reorder a feed to tell us what they thought were the most important things.”
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget
It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is
I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights
Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.
- School District Wants to Censor American History Curriculum to Make It More Patriotic
- U.S. Federal Prison Population Drops for the First Time in Decades
- Conservative Star D’Souza Avoids Jail Time for Illegal Campaign Contributions
- Moderate Chinese Intellectual Sentenced to Life in Prison After Show Trial
In Defense of HR
Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.