Today, Facebook has announced that it will start incorporating the time spent on the stories as a ranking factor for what it shows people visiting the social network.
Though the New Feed algorithm is quite complicated, but commenting, sharing and liking have always remained the major factors in determining the mix. On the basis of their research that showed that people always don’t like or comment on the stories they find meaningful, Facebook is thus adding the time spent.
For example, the serious current events or a friend’s photo post about a recent trip, the new ranking signal will take into account the time spent by people on these posts, and surface more like them as compared to the posts that receive less attention.
Facebook’s software engineers Ansha Yu and Sami Tas explained more in a blog post:
When talking to people about the way they use their News Feed, we’ve found that it’s not as simple as just measuring the number of seconds you spend on each story to understand if that piece of content resonated with you. Some people may spend ten seconds on a story because they really enjoy it, while others may spend ten seconds on a story because they have a slow internet connection. 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.
According to Facebook, the change starts today and will continue to roll out in the upcoming weeks.
Facebook said that it didn’t expect Pages to see “significant changes in distribution” due to the update, though it seems likely that it could favor the media organizations that post their content on Facebook rather than posting the links to the articles or other material on their sites.
There is no doubt that more time is spent on the native Facebook video than on the links to publisher’s video players. Also one of the major selling points of the experiment with Instant Articles is that Facebook provides a much better mobile reading experience than the publishers can on their own. Currently, such articles can only be viewed on the iPhone and only few have been posted (though the New York Times plans to post 30 a day starting this month), but with the wider adoption that could significantly skew the time spent on metrics.Facebook To Incorporate Time Spent On Stories As A Ranking Factor!,