Facebook Will Show Fewer Updates Automatically Posted By Third Parties

The social giant will begin prioritizing stories explicitly shared by users in the coming months.

Facebook Will Show Fewer Updates Automatically Posted By Third Parties
[Image: Flickr user Sarah Marshall]

News flash: People don’t like it when apps post Facebook updates on their behalf. As Facebook continues to clean up the news feed, the social giant said Tuesday that it will begin deprioritizing “implicit stories” that are automatically posted by third parties.

Overall, the company said implicit stories see lower levels of engagement, compared with stories explicitly shared by users. “We’ve also heard that people often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared without taking an explicit action,” the social network said in a blog post.

Facebook said the number of implicit stories has dropped in the past year, but it will tweak its algorithm to prioritize explicitly shared stories in the coming months. In addition, it is encouraging developers to consider other channels to engage users, including Open Graph, Messenger, and the share and like buttons.

Lately, the social network has been taking aim at news feed spam. At the beginning of the year, it debuted Paper, a stripped-down news reader app to cut through the clutter. It’s also working to demote updates with link bait–updates that ask users to like, comment, or share–and spammy links that trick people into clicking.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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