Towards more personalized feeds

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Facebook regularly tweaks its News Feed algorithm. Right now, 100,000 “weights” factor in what you see in your home stream, only a few of which are publicly known.

Fortunately for us, the company keeps sharing the latest developments on the algorithm. So, what’s up this time?

Also in this roundup: Facebook’s Privacy Basics and TOS update, Twitter’s plans for Timelines and Direct Messages, and Haiku Deck’s integration into SlideShare.

More Changes for the Facebook News Feed

Two new features are now giving mobile and desktop users a little more control over what they see in their home streams.

First, check out your News Feed settings for a list of the friends, Groups and Pages that you have seen the most in your stream for the last seven days. The list is followed by the accounts that you have unfollowed. Re-following / unfollowing takes a tap or a click of the mouse.

When it comes to irrelevant content, there is also a new way to filter the noise. You can choose to see fewer updates from profiles and Pages:

“You are then given the option to unfollow them if you don’t want to see any of their stories in your News Feed. You can always visit News Feed settings to see everything you’ve unfollowed and have the option to re-follow them.”

(Source: Facebook Newsroom)

For more information on the updates, watch the video below. You can also visit the Help Center.

More Ways to Control What You See in Your News Feed from Facebook on Vimeo.

Worried about privacy on Facebook? You are not the only one. And the company wants you to know that it has been paying attention.

Last Thursday saw the launch of Privacy Basics, a website full of tips and guides to help users understand how they can control their information on the social network. Topics include search, untagging, unfriending, blocking, and post visibility. It is available in 36 languages.

“Privacy Basics is the latest step we’ve taken to help you make sure you’re sharing with exactly who you want, including our privacy checkup, reminder for people posting publicly and simplified audience selectors.”

(Source: Facebook Newsroom)

Facebook is also changing its terms of services and policies. Here are some of the highlights:

  • A clearer explanation of how the company acquires location information based on the features you use.
  • New ways to make e-commerce transactions on Facebook more secure.
  • A shorter and clearer data policy.
  • A (re-)Introduction to Facebook Services (companies, apps, and services), which all have their separate policies and terms.

Users have until November 20 to submit their comments. The final updates will be available shortly after.

Finally, if you hate ads, you can now opt out of them based on the apps and sites you use through the Digital Advertising Alliance.

“You can also opt out using controls on iOS and Android. When you tell us you don’t want to see these types of ads, your decision automatically applies to every device you use to access Facebook. Also, we’re now making our ad preferences tool available in additional countries, beginning with Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.”

(Source: Facebook Newsroom)

Note to marketers. Like-gating is no longer allowed. Further, Pages that post overly promotional content will see their organic reach decrease. The update will take effect in January 2015.

Twitter: Personalized Timelines Are on Their Way

On Wednesday, the Twitter team announced some upcoming improvements.

First, get ready for native videos. By mid-2015, you will be able to record, edit, and share your own videos on the platform. Does it mean the end of Vines? Not at all. The two features will work alongside each other.

You can also expect the Direct Messaging system to be revamped. The first planned update will allow users to share and discuss tweets privately.

Further, the Facebook-like algorithm is coming, but with a twist:

“[W]e’re exploring ways to surface relevant Tweets so the content that is interesting to you is easy to discover – whether you stay on Twitter all day or visit for a few minutes – while still preserving the real-time nature of the platform that makes Twitter special,” says Twitter’s Vice-President of Product, Kevin Weil, on the Twitter Blog.

The goal is to deliver a snapshot of what users have missed while away from the platform — Timeline Highlights. Twitter will look at their activity (followed accounts and content engagement) to determine the most relevant Tweets they should see when they log back into their accounts.

Timeline Highlights

(Source: http://www.media-server.com/m/s/gagpehxw/lan/en)

Twitter also plans to release “an instant, personalized timeline for new users who don’t want to spend time cultivating one on their own.”

“Over the coming months, we are picking up the pace of product changes and improvements. As ever, that will involve a lot of experimentation, and we’ll be listening to your feedback along the way to make sure we build a service you love.”

Another idea, as reported by Marketing Land, involves attracting more traffic from search engine giant Google.

Haiku Deck Integrates with SlideShare

Here is a piece of news marketers should love. You can now create and publish Haiku Deck presentations directly on SlideShare.

To start taking advantage of the integration, visit http://slidehare.net/create. There, log into your LinkedIn account and accept the terms:

terms of use haiku deck

You can start working on your next masterpiece right away. The Haiku Deck dashboard hasn’t changed.

This integration between both products had been requested by many users and cements a partnership started in 2012.

Haiku Deck currently has more than 4 million users. SlideShare boasts 70 million users.

Before We Go…

Do you know that you can now edit the description of your Instagram posts? No more deleting and re-uploading. Just click the three dots below your image or video and the “Edit” button in the drop-down list. Then, hit “Done” to save changes.

Note: The word ‘Edited’ will appear above the description when you tap ‘Comment’ on a post.

What news surprises you the most?

Cendrine Marrouat
Paper.li Blog Staff Writer, Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born social media coach, curator, and author. She is the founder of Social Media Slant and the #smslantchat Twitter chat. Her latest e-book release, "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", is a comprehensive guide focusing on the four pillars of audience building. Follow her on Google+.

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