Make a Better Facebook Newsfeed! (Edit)

Someone please fix the Facebook newsfeed!

This is an edit on my previous post about Facebook disconnect. The most I chatted with friends about it, the most I realized that I have an issue with Newsfeed’s algorithm. by design, it cannot deliver content that I would like to see.

Problems with current Newsfeed:

  1. Limits the number of people/pages it shows.

    • It doesn’t show more than 20-30 people at a given time. I know this because clicking on friends’ profiles + interacting with their content will add them to my newsfeed, but eventually I will lose updates from other friends whose content I haven’t interacted with in a while.

  2. I also like memes and funny page content

    • The more memes I interact with, the more that family and friends get pushed away.

    • I don’t necessarily want to lose my meme feed either. I like it, and getting it in another platform would take some work from me.

    • I’d rather see family/friends separately from memes/pages

  3. Shows TMI from “that one friend.” (But I love that friend!)

    • I only want to see the important stuff. If someone I care about constantly shitposts (although I do love it), then the algorithm makes sure I see ALL of it. I can’t filter out “only important posts” from particular people.

    • Newsfeed can’t tell which posts are “more important” to me and which aren’t.

    • Also, I like friend shitposting a lot. But there’s currently a tradeoff between getting shitposts and having them bump out other content that I would consider to be important.

I want two different Newsfeeds.

Separately. Not on the same feed. Two different feeds on the same app that I can switch back and forth between.

Let’s see some memes. Let’s see what’s going on with the fam. But not in the same place because the Newsfeed algorithm cannot deliver both by design.

Proposed solution:

  1. Allow Facebook’s regular newsfeed to deliver content like memes and news and whatever nonsense that it’s already really good at doing. Allow it to shuffle “meaningful content” downwards like it already does. There’s my meme/page/shitpost feed.

  2. Design a second newsfeed algorithm that specifically focuses on significant life updates. It can be designed as a simple bot that does the following:

    • Visits each friend profile every t amount of time, where t can be a day, twice a day, etc.

    • Scans recent posts made between the current time and the last time that profile was checked.

      • The Facebook feature “life events” posts have top priority. New jobs, engaged, married, moved to new city, graduated, weight loss goal, etc.

      • Meme/reshared content etc. is easy to filter out since the vast majority of them are shared or have no caption.

      • Use ad-hoc list of regex matches to filter out posts that are “most likely” important. Posts without photos are easier. Copy-paste posts are easy to filter out as well.

      • Posted original photos without captions will be tricky to label as “genuine” without having knowledge of the photo content. Photos with captions will be much easier.

  3. After collecting “genuine posts”, gather them into a single feed, where posts can be ranked by some combination of (age of post + number of interactions + importance of event). Importance of events can be approximated using regex.

  4. Iterate on the algorithm. Regex matching is a good first approximation, but it’s easy to design and implement simple machine learning algorithms to improve the following:

    • Image meme recognition

    • Sentiment analysis

    • Text subject analysis

    • Text “importance” detection

This second newsfeed would literally show all “important” tagged events for EVERYONE you are friends with on Facebook. If you’re like me and know everyone personally on your Facebook friends list, then you’ll probably be glad to have a newsfeed that shows everyone’s updates instead of the few that Newsfeed only selects for.

All feedback and comments are welcome!