META implemented several changes to Facebook’s News Feed throughout 2021. Here’s what you might have missed.
The tech giant published a list on its blog on Monday of all the new features and tests it launched for Facebook’s News Feed this year.
The company wrote in the blog post that all of the changes they launched were for the benefit of their users, specifically to “give people who use Facebook more control over their News Feed” and to “reduce negative experiences.”
Meta also added that they “continually evaluate the effectiveness of News Feed ranking signals and give people insight into how content appears in their feeds.”
In the blog post, Meta further proclaimed that they have made significant strides in providing more transparency into “how the News Feed ranking process works, what gets distributed, and why.”
Here’s a timeline of all the features and tests Facebook launched this year for News Feed:
In February, the company rolled out tests to reduce political content in News Feed in response to direct feedback from its users.
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The social media app released several new features in March, including “Choose Who Can Comment,” “Favorites,” and “Feed Filter Bar.”
They also expanded suggested posts to include the “Why Am I Seeing This” feature, which offers users more “context and control over the content they see and share in News Feed.”
In April, Facebook launched tests to incorporate user feedback and critique regarding the content they wished to see more or less of in their News Feed
Meta announced in May new ways for users to display reaction counts on both Facebook and Instagram.
In August, the company shared their first-ever “Widely Viewed Content Report,” to reveal what News Feed content is the most viewed in the US.
Facebook’s “Content Distribution Guidelines” was released in September.
The report included definitions of content the company identifies as “borderline and likely violating our community standards, sensational health content and unoriginal video content.”
In November, the company shared its second “Widely Viewed Content Report” and announced plans to make News Feed controls easier to find and use for both users and advertisers.
Facebook stated that this month they actually removed a feature, the “transparent authorship signal,” because it did not have a “significant effect on the news ecosystem.”
They added that “we still prioritize original reporting in News Feed and will continue to boost quality news by improving more impactful News Feed signals.”
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