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Facebook favors 'high-quality' articles over memes in updated news feed algorithm

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Facebook Nasdaq NYC Stock
Facebook Nasdaq NYC Stock

Facebook wants to make its News Feed surface better, smarter content. With an updated algorithm that it says will be rolling out soon, the News Feed will begin to do a better job of surfacing "high-quality" articles that readers are likely to click on. At the same time, Facebook is also hoping to demote "meme photos" and ostensibly other over-shared links that aren't as informative.

The update will promote more news too

Facebook also says that it will begin promoting more news articles to users, as it's found that people enjoy coming across them. It'll also begin displaying relevant articles beneath links in the News Feed that readers have just opened in the hope of directing them to something else of interest.

Though Facebook doesn't go into detail about what types of articles it'll be trying to avoid, the announcement comes as short-form content sites like Upworthy and Viral Nova have begun filling users' feeds with articles defined by their provocative headlines — a feat that's garnered plenty of attention. Facebook doesn't say that it'll be removing any articles from the News Feed entirely, but it does say that lower-quality links will begin showing up less prominently as it places better articles up front. While the changes should make for a pleasant improvement to readers, it'll also be important as Facebook continues to battle Twitter to become those readers' go-to source for finding news.

Update: The algorithm changes will occur on both the mobile and desktop news feed, not just the mobile feed as previously stated. Rather, it appears that Facebook will be basing the changes off of data collected from users' habits while browsing the mobile feed, and that the changes may appear more prominently on mobile as well.