Facebook is introducing a useful new feature for the News Feed today. The company finally explains exactly why the News Feed displays certain posts, which should help clear up any confusion you might have.
With the News Feed completely relying on algorithms, it is possible to see some posts on your timeline that might seem pretty random. With the new “Why am I seeing this post?” feature, the News Feed explains exactly why that post is displayed to you.
This could be based on a couple of different things, like:
- Why you’re seeing a certain post in your News Feed — for example, if the post is from a friend you made, a Group you joined, or a Page you followed.
- What information generally has the largest influence over the order of posts, including: (a) how often you interact with posts from people, Pages or Groups; (b) how often you interact with a specific type of post, for example, videos, photos or links; and (c) the popularity of the posts shared by the people, Pages and Groups you follow.
- Shortcuts to controls, such as See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts, to help you personalize your News Feed.
Along with explaining why you see a certain post, Facebook also gives you quick controls over the source of the post, so you can make sure you don’t see similar posts in the future. And that is honestly really useful as you won’t have to go and manually dig up the specific setting for that from your account settings.
Facebook is also improving its “Why am I seeing this ad?” feature to provide more context as to exactly why you might be seeing a certain ad on the News Feed. The company now tells you when an advertiser’s list matches your Facebook profile, which might seem a little creepy but could help explain why you see a certain ad and how your data was used to show you the ad.
Facebook’s been through a lot of privacy controversies throughout the last year and this year, but with the company promising to focus more on user’s private data, all of this seems like a pretty good move.