In its effort to improve User experience and enhance individual News Feeds Facebook has announced that it will now measure the time spent looking at an update.
Researchers at Facebook culled data from a survey that had Users rate their experience with Facebook and how the content they received in their News Feeds could be improved. They found that Users were interested in content that related to trending and current events that they did not necessarily want to interact with. They wanted to see the information but had no desire to comment, like or share the update. Therefore Facebook has added a new metric to its algorithm. They now have the technology to measure the time spent viewing an update in the News Feed. In other words, you do not have to interact with the update in any way for Facebook to realize that you are spending time on a particular post.
Scroll past an update showing something you are not interested in (your cousin’s fifth baby picture post of the day or a news story you don’t want to read) and the algorithm will begin to learn you don’t care for those types of updates.
Linger on an update for a bit and the timer behind the scenes starts. Spend more time on a particular update like reading an article, viewing a photo, etc. and the algorithm will learn what you are interested in. Based on that information, Facebook will present similar content to you in the future.
The software engineers at Facebook report that the new system will be adjusted for things like slower internet connectivity and typical user browsing habits.
The new metric will be rolled out in the next few weeks.
Facebook also notes that Business Pages should not expect to see any significant difference in content being shared with their Friends.