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Facebook explains more about how its news feed works


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Here’s a new statistic on Facebook’s news feed: on a given day, there are 2,000 stories that people could read in their feeds, but they only read about 10% of them.

That’s according to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s VP of product management for news feed, speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference yesterday.

He appears to have not been pushed to explain further how many of the 1,800-odd unread stories are screened out by Facebook’s algorithm versus simply not noticed by users.

There was an interesting exchange where Mosseri reiterated Facebook’s belief that it’s a technology company, not a media company though.

“We think of ourselves as a technology company because primarily the problems that we deal from a day-to-day basis are technology problems,” he said.

“We’re trying to figure out what people are interested in, we’re trying to figure out how to connect people with the sources of content they find meaningful, we’re trying to figure out how to write stories based on how relevant they are to people. These problems are primarily technical in nature. That’s why we’re a technology company… But we’re not in the business of deciding what issues people should read about.”

Yet Facebook’s algorithms are making those decisions, and its engineers are making the (technical) decisions governing that process.

Stuart Dredge

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