Facebook tweaks News Feed to cut back on 'overly promotional' content

The algorithm that controls Facebook's News Feed is the company's secret sauce - it needs the right blend of ads and updates to keep us clicking

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The Independent Tech

Facebook is cutting down on the amount of “overly promotional” material appearing in the News Feeds are receiving negative feedback from users.

The 1.2 billion-strong social network said in a blog post that there were consistent traits for content that turned people off, with posts the “solely push people to buy a product or install an app”, “enter promotions and sweepstakes” or that “reuse” content the words offenders.

 The company assured users that the change will “not increase the number of ads people see in their News Feeds” and that the aim is to instead “increase the relevance and quality of the overall stories”.

This is what bad publicity looks like - Facebook hates your Bunny Puzzle Cubes.

However, this doesn’t mean that the number of News Feed ads will be decreasing either. More than 90 per cent of Facebook’s revenue comes from web-based advertising, and their ability to put ads in front of eyeballs is something they’d never undercut.

Which is why, of course, the algorithm that decides what goes into each user’s News Feed is so often tweaked and modified. It’s the company’s secret sauce; a mysterious blend of status updates, shared stories and paid content that keeps us coming back for more – they can’t ruin it by putting too much advertorial slop in.