Facebook is introducing a new “Why am I seeing this post” feature that will help you understand why you are seeing something, and more easily control what you see in the future.
It’s hard to believe this sometimes, but your Facebook News Feed is actually always personalised for you – and now Facebook wants to help you build that personalised experience even further, giving you control over what you see from friends, Pages, and Groups. The first step is to tell you why you’re seeing what you’re seeing.
And don’t take this news with a pinch of salt; this is a big thing for Facebook. As Ramya Sethuraman, Product Manager, at Facebook explains, “this is the first time that we’ve built information on how ranking works directly into the app.”
Back in 2014, Facebook launched the “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool, to help you get context on the reasons why you are seeing a particular ad – and then simply tap on the ad and take action. Like telling Facebook that you don’t want to see ads like that again, or you don’t want to see ads from a particular advertiser. Now, Facebook is giving you the same level of control over posts as well.
Just tap on the drop-down menu on the top right-hand corner of a post and tap on “Why am I seeing this post?” The ensuing section “explains how your past interactions impact the ranking of posts in your News Feed.”
Firstly, you will see “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. Secondly, you will see the information that generally has the largest influence over the order of posts. This includes:
– how often you interact with posts from people, Pages or Groups;
– how often you interact with a specific type of post, for example, videos, photos or links;
– the popularity of the posts shared by the people, Pages and Groups you follow.
Finally, it also includes shortcuts to controls, such as “See First,” “Unfollow,” “News Feed Preferences” and “Privacy Shortcuts,” to help you personalize your News Feed further based on the information.
Sethuraman explains that “People’s feedback also helped us determine what specific information would be most valuable to highlight. For example, we’ve included examples of people’s interactions that contribute to each of the three signal categories we show in the feature.”
Additional to the new post equivalent, Facebook is also updating its “Why am I seeing this ad” feature which it launched over four years ago. The feature will now show further details about ads that you see “when information on an advertiser’s list matches your Facebook profile.”
Furthermore, it will also now provide details about when an advertiser uploaded your information to be used, or when the information was made available to a partner of the advertiser.