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Facebook Tweaking its News Feed to Show Your Best Friends, Key Links on Top

Facebook, however, said the changes aren’t meant to show more or less from Pages or friends

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook is tweaking its News Feed to help its over 2.3 billion users see friends they want to hear from most and links which are most worthwhile right higher up on its platform.

Facebook conducted surveys to get more context about the posts people want to see and who they want to see them from.

“We are announcing two ranking updates based on surveys we’ve conducted: one prioritises the friends someone might want to hear from most and the other prioritises the links a person might consider most worthwhile,” the social media giant said in a blog post late Thursday.

Facebook would look at the patterns, some of which include being tagged in the same photos, continuously reacting and commenting on the same posts and checking-in at the same places — and then use these patterns to inform its algorithms.

“This direct feedback helps us better predict which friends people may want to hear from most,” said Ramya Sethuraman, Product Manager.

This does not mean News Feed will be limited to posts from only certain people and it also does not mean people will necessarily see more friend content.

“Rather, you will likely see posts from those you have close relationships with higher up in your News Feed,” said Facebook.

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FILE – The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Facebook said its prediction models are continuously updated based on the interactions people have with their friends on Facebook.

To show relevant posts, a Facebook survey asked people what posts they thought were worth their time.

Based on these surveys, Facebook is updating News Feed to show people links they will find worthwhile.

“We then combine these factors with information we have about the post, including the type of post, who it’s from and the engagement it’s received, to more accurately predict whether people are likely to find a link valuable,” said the company.

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According to media reports, the change might hurt Facebook Pages that share clickbait and preference those sharing content that makes people feel satisfied afterwards.

Facebook, however, said the changes aren’t meant to show more or less from Pages or friends.

“Rather, the Page links that are surfaced to people will be ones they find worth their time… and the friend posts will be from friends people want to hear from most,” it explained. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Suspends Several Apps Post-Cambridge Analytica Probe

Facebook has also removed a number of application programming interfaces (APIs), the channels that developers use to access various types of data

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FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook has suspended thousands of apps associated with nearly 400 developers for a variety of reasons, as it continues to investigate suspicious apps after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The social networking giant said that it is not yet confirmed these apps were posing a threat to people.

“Many were not live but were still in their testing phase when we suspended them. It is not unusual for developers to have multiple test apps that never get rolled out.

“In many cases, the developers did not respond to our request for information so we suspended them, honouring our commitment to take action,” Facebook said in a blog post on Friday.

Facebook began its “App Developer Investigation” in March 2018 as part of its response to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The company aimed to review all of the apps that had access to large amounts of information before it changed its platform policies in 2014.

“Our App Developer Investigation is by no means finished. But there is meaningful progress to report so far. To date, this investigation has addressed millions of apps,” Facebook said.

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The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

In a few cases, Facebook has banned some apps completely.

“That can happen for any number of reasons including inappropriately sharing data obtained from us, making data publicly available without protecting people’s identity or something else that was in clear violation of our policies,” the company said.

In May, Facebook filed a lawsuit in California against Rankwave, a South Korean data analytics company that failed to cooperate with its investigation.

Also Read: Tanzania Refuses to Provide Detailed Information on Ebola Cases

“We’ve also taken legal action against developers in other contexts. For example, we filed an action against LionMobi and JediMobi, two companies that used their apps to infect users’ phones with malware in a profit-generating scheme,” it added.

Facebook has also removed a number of application programming interfaces (APIs), the channels that developers use to access various types of data.

“We have clarified that we can suspend or revoke a developer’s access to any API that it has not used in the past 90 days. And we will not allow apps on Facebook that request a disproportionate amount of information from users relative to the value they provide,” the company said. (IANS)