April 4, 2019
Anna Hubbel, writer at AdvertiseMint, Facebook ads agency
The mission of achieving full transparency on Facebook is ongoing, as evidenced by the network’s recent feature rollout.
Facebook announced a new “Why am I seeing this post?” feature that allows users to have more control over the content they see in their News Feeds and to help them better understand the algorithm. Additionally, the network is expanding the information available in the tool.
“During our research on ‘Why am I seeing this post?’, people told us that transparency into News Feed algorithms wasn’t enough without corresponding controls,” Facebook’s Product Manager Ramya Sethuraman explains in the announcement. “People wanted to be able to take action, so we’ve made it easy to manage what you see in News Feed right from this feature.”
The feature, accessible from the drop-down menu, is located on the right-hand corner of a post in the app. Users can select the feature for more information on why they are seeing certain posts in their feeds and how their previous activity impacts rankings in the algorithm.
According to Facebook, with the new feature, users will have access to the following information:
- Why a certain post appears in their News Feeds.
- What information has the largest influence over post ranking.
- Shortcuts to controls, such as See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences, and Privacy Shortcuts, to help users personalize their News Feeds.
Additionally, Facebook will provide more information under the “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool. Users will now be able to see when an advertiser uploaded existing customer information or if the advertiser worked with another marketing partner to run the ad.
Facebook already has a video explaining how the News Feed algorithm works to help users better understand why they see certain content on their feeds, but the information is tucked away in a post to Facebook Newsroom. Not all Facebook users know of Facebook Newsroom’s existence, and press articles posted there aren’t publicized. This is the first time algorithm information has been incorporated to the Facebook app for easier access.