Facebook’s news feed has always been the social media site’s crowning jewel. This is the function that allows people to stay on the site after they have posted their favorite photos of their kids or commented on their friend’s favorite photos of their kids. Now the Facebook news feed is getting a rather serious overhaul in order to make sure users are still finding the feature as useful today as they did when it was first launched.
There are actually a number of different changes that are being made to the Facebook news feed in order to make it that much better. CBS Philadelphia is reporting that one change is the addition of location-specific tips to users’ pages when they are accessing the social media site through their mobile devices. The new feature is called “Place Tips” and will basically pop up a notification on your Facebook news feed when you visit a location that one of your friends has previously visited.
The Place Tips function will not just tell you that you are visiting somewhere that has been visited before, but will also bring up photos and comments about the place from your social media friends. Luckily for those who don’t necessarily want to be bombarded with alerts when you head to your local neighborhood Target store, you can turn this new feature off and it won’t be active if you don’t give the site permission to use it.
A larger scale improvement to the Facebook news feed is also coming down the pike, according to Wired. The site is looking to make its premiere feature better thanks to the employment of a number of focus groups made up of a total of 600 people. The social media giant is paying these people to work on the algorithm that works the feature. These focus groups — which work in four-hour shifts — get different stories on their accounts, and they respond by commenting, liking, or ignoring those stories and then answering questions about them.
This particular way of going about doing things is nothing new for Facebook or any other customer-based company. What is interesting is that the social media giant is willing to acknowledge there are problems with the signature part of the entire site. People complain about different functions on the hub almost constantly, but these particular focus groups seem to be serving as a kind of tacit admission that something needs to be done to fix the Facebook news feeds.