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Facebook finally answers the perennial question about News Feed: “Why am I seeing this?”

Facebook finally answers the perennial question about News Feed: “Why am I seeing this?”
[Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash]

Facebook has made no secret over the years that it uses complex algorithms to determine what you are shown in your News Feed with the intent of getting you to use Facebook more and click on more links. But the reasoning behind the posts Facebook chooses to surface on your News Feed sometimes has been a conundrum for users, leaving them scratching their heads, asking, “Why am I seeing this?”

Now, users will finally get an answer. Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a new “Why am I seeing this post?” feature in News Feed. Now when you click on the drop-down menu in the right-hand corner of any post in your News Feed, you’ll see a link to the new tool. The tool lists the multiple variables explaining how your past interactions on Facebook led to News Feed prioritizing to show you that post over others. As Facebook explained in a blog post, the tool now allows you to see:

  • Why you’re seeing a certain post in your News Feed–for example, if the post is from a friend you made, a Group you joined, or a Page you followed.
  • What information generally has the largest influence over the order of posts, including: a) how often you interact with posts from people, Pages, or Groups; b) how often you interact with a specific type of post–for example, videos, photos, or links; and c) the popularity of the posts shared by the people, Pages, and Groups you follow.
  • Shortcuts to controls, such as See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences, and Privacy Shortcuts, to help you personalize your News Feed.

The “Why am I seeing this post?” feature expands on Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this ad?” tool that rolled out to Facebook ads in 2014. The new tool is one of the few bright spots from Facebook so far in 2019, allowing users to get more context on why they see what they see in their feeds. It should be active for all users of Facebook’s mobile apps starting today.

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