Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would change its news feed algorithm to put a higher priority on content shared by friends and family. That most likely means you will see fewer articles, videos or photos shared by the media companies you follow on Facebook.
If you are among the 1.65 billion people who regularly visit Facebook, the news should not have come as a shock.
Facebook tinkers with its algorithm constantly, fine-tuning the feed to keep users spending as much time on Facebook as possible. And, according to the company, most people Facebook has surveyed said they wanted to see more content shared by their friends and less from media publishers.
But since Facebook detailed its plans, many readers have asked how to keep seeing the news they love in their feeds. Here’s how to do it:
■ Navigate to the Facebook page of a publication you want to regularly see news items from. Here’s The New York Times, clearly something you’d love to keep reading. Make sure the box marked “Like” is checked, which will signify you’re following the page.
■ If on the desktop, hover over the downward-facing arrow on the “Like” button with your mouse. A drop-down menu with a set of options should appear. If on your phone, just tap the “Following” button for a similar menu.
■ On the desktop, you should see a label that says “In Your News Feed,” which will most likely be set to “default.” That means what you see from The Times’s Facebook page will rely largely on what the algorithm determines you should see, based on your history of interacting with content shared from The Times’s official account.
If you want to see everything The Times posts, click the “See First” option instead. On a smartphone, just click the “See First” option under the Following button on the page.
■ If you want to dig deeper, click on the tiny pencil-like button to the right of “In Your News Feed,” which will show you another list of options. From there, you can choose to be notified by pop-up Facebook notifications when The Times posts certain types of content, like photos or live video.
That’s it. From now on, you’ll see every recent new item The Times posts at the top of your news feed since you last visited Facebook. This works for any news outlet with a Facebook page that you already follow, so just navigate to those pages to see all of that content as well.
Here’s the caveat: You may not want to see all the many, many news items that a publisher pushes out over a single day, which means clicking “See First” isn’t for you.
Fear not. Part of the logic of Facebook’s algorithm is that it is tailored to show you exactly the type of content you want to see, whether it’s news items, baby photos or live videos. So in essence, the more you interact with news articles shared by the publishers you like — be it clicking on them and reading or resharing them in your own feed — the more Facebook will know that you want to see that type of content.
In a nutshell, if you’re already a news hound, just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll probably keep seeing news from the publishers you follow.
If not, enjoy your newfound wealth of baby photos.
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