You’ve been warned: Facebook is about to become even more captivating.
On Friday Facebook announced that it will start taking into account how much time users spent viewing a particular story as a determining factor for that story showing up at the top of your News Feed. Basically, the stories you take the time to read (or watch) will be prioritized over the stories that you scroll right through out of general disinterest.
“We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them,” wrote Facebook software engineers Ansha Yu and Sami Tas.
Historically the Facebook News Feed has only considered the number of likes, comments, and shares in its super-secret ranking algorithm. But Facebook discovered that users don’t always like or comment on otherwise captivating stories that resonated with them.
“Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your News Feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future,” the Facebook engineering team added.
This News Feed update will take into account the speed of your Internet connection as to not misinterpret a slow connection for interest, and Facebook does not expect stories posted by Pages to be significantly affected by this change.
The impact on you: Facebook’s News Feed continually gets tweaked to surface the most relevant stories based on your Facebook activity and what your friends post and share. In the last year, Facebook has updated News Feed to include more stories from your closest friends (based on your Facebook connections, of course) and trending topics so you won’t miss out on timely stories. Facebook has also put its foot down and reduced how often hoaxes, click-bait and overly promotional stories show up in your News Feed.