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    How to Get Control on Facebook and How The Algorithms Work
    By Jean-Sebastien B.... | October 19th 2010 07:40 AM | 11 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Jean-Sebastien

    Musician, composer, orchestrator,audio producer. Interests in science, technology, transhumanism, singularity,biology, biotechnology, psychology...

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    Most Facebook users think they see all their friends in the news feed and everything is okay, they just think some are just not posting. Well it might not be the case. 

    Facebook use algorithms, whether it be to select what is the top news, what friends to suggest or what photo memories to show but the most disturbing fact is that there is also an algorithm for the people who appear in your news feed whether it be in "Recent Post" or "Top News". In fact that old friend you haven't spoken in a while could be not appearing in your news feed when he/she is posting.

    I studied the algorithms behavior for two months be observing without doing any test but by simply doing business as usual. What I noticed is I was always seeing the same persons, which were the persons I wanted to see but there were missing some so I was wondering. I checked on the Facebook application for iPhone and iPod Touch and there was no filter, no algorithm, I was seeing everyone. But on the website I was not getting any post of the people I was adding even after posting a message to their wall for the new friendship. So I asked myself what the algorithm was considering for making someone appear in your news feed and noticed some important key points. 

    First important key point is interaction! You must interact with that person, comment on his posts, like his post and yes this would implies visit his wall if you can't see him in the news feed. The more interaction, the more it will make the algorithm understand that you are real friends and want to see each others posts in the news feed.

    Second important thing to notice is that links are more valuable than status updates. Your posts are more likely to make it through the filter if you post links, videos and images. Facebook is a data mining source and you must remember that.

    Third important factor is people who are stalking you will make you appear in their news feed but not the other way around. If you are stalking someone's profile the algorithm will understand one thing, you want to see more of that person but unfortunately not the status updates, what you will get is photo memories in the upper right section of the page.

    Fourth important key point is people you are tagged with in photos are also more likely to appear in your news feed as they are considered close friends. So a lot of pictures with you and X will make you see each others in the news feed and yes more photo memories.

    Another factor is related to the chat. If you engage in a chat with someone the algorithm will remember you chatted with that person and will make that person a person you see in the left window of who is online. The algorithm select who it will show you is online depending on with who you chatted and who are considered your best friends. So yes indeed chatting could increase the odds of getting both chatters seen in the news feed.

    Also the search engine with Facebook have a algorithm. The closest friend will appear first if you type letter 'A' for example it will be your good friend Alex showing first, not Antoine that you haven't spoken to in months. The closest you are to the person, the closer they are in the search results.

    Now some days ago I tested the algorithm with someone I added. For two days we commented on each others posts by visiting walls, liked our posts and even send some messages. After two days we couldn't see each others in the news feed and I must admit it was a surprise for both of us. You may now wonder how to get the control you want on who you can see in your news feed now? I will explain everything you need to know about getting some control over that algorithm.

    The place you will spend you time to do so is at the bottom on the home page (news feed), scroll down and on the left you will see Edit Options. Click on it and this with bring you to the "News Feed Settings" window. On the left you can manually add people you want to see in your news feed and on the right you can block people you don't want to see in your news feed. So far so good but there is more. At the bottom of this window you can see "Maximum Number of Friends" this is a variable you can set yourself to let you allow how many posters you want to have in your news feed. Increase it to a very high value and you shall see more people automatically. The interesting part thought is "View Recommended Friends". If you open this menu it will show up the people you should be currently seeing or most likely to be seeing based on the algorithm highlighted in light blue. This is the actual suggestion for your news feed filter and probably is looking at what you are getting right now in your news feed. Now you can click on everyone you want to appear in your news feed and even the pages you want to appear in your news feed. One thing you must keep in mind is that the suggestion is not showing everyone if you have a lot of friends or pages so it is a wise idea to manually add in the previous menu the person you really want to see.

    So there you have it folks, you now have more control over that Facebook algorithm! Now that you can see the one you want to see it's time to interact with them, post interesting links, and also telling them about this should help too! Enjoy more control over your Facebook!

    Jean-Sebastien B. Miousse

    Facebook: http://profile.to/m4y0u/ - I will accept friend invites from anyone interested in receiving science links into their news tread.


    Comments

    Amateur Astronomer
    Facebook has a security problem in the news paper today. This week a friend’s pass word was stolen and used as a scam against her friends. There was a call for help. “Help, I’m was mugged in London and need a loan to pay my hotel bill” Fortunately the friend had a bunch of security people on her list of friends. They were on top of this scam very quick. Facebook has a special fill in the blank form just for this situation. Readers should be aware of security risk on the log on page of Facebook. There are two different log on pages. One is not secure, but the other one is secure. The unsecure page has a URL that starts with ---- http:// The secure page has a URL that starts with ---- https:// To reach the secure page for log on the user can leave the first page blank, no user name and no pass word. That is treated as an error, but the page that opens for the second try is the secure page. Anyone in the world can read the unsecure page. People who have been logging on with the unsecure page should change their passwords under the account menu.
    JSBM - YOU are EPIC!!!

    I've also noticed that each page that you "like" is included in the total number of "contacts" that can be represented in your News Feed so if you have a lot of likes then you will have more page updates in your news feed also lowering the possibility of including your friends in your News Feed.

    I do have a few questions about FB http vs https pages and their security on FB. How necessary are they? For instance, I have close friends with children who filter those images so they are shared with close friends and family, however, if those images are on an http page, are they still virtually open to anyone on the Internet? How about personal Facebook email? How personal is it on an http page? If this is important, can and how do you change that permanently so each page is https?

    With regard to, your FB email content... any messages, chats, comments, status updates, links, etc directly impact which pages and products are displayed in the "marketing section" of your home page directly to the right of your News Feed.

    Try it for fun, send a message to another friend on a topic that you have never discussed before on FB and then watch an add for something directly related to that topic pop up on the right of your home page within a few days! =') FB is a marketing marvel and data mining beast!

    HAPW (✿◠‿◠) ♥♫♪

    Hank
    I also think Facebook is essentially unusable.   If someone is not in the first 10 on that feed page, they are not getting read and not much I can do about it because it has no customization.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Great article Jean-Sebastien, thanks for the tips and advice about better utilizing and/or understanding how Facebook works.
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Great info like to read more on how to get yourself/ your page appear on others news feed

    I wish the 'show more' in "View Recommended Friends" worked for Pages in Recent News. I selected all the Pages I wanted to see. When I went back to "View Recommended Friends" they are not in 'show more', nor are they blue. I can see them in Top News, but there are no Pages in Recent News? I was wondering why I was missing out on store updates and offers.

    in it many people are there k.then how a specific persons is selected as our match by the friend finder?i mean to say that how the facebok spider search our specific match & give us data for specific friends with whom we can do friendship?how?

    Great job with this article.Any chance of you knowing if people who arent in your friends list stalk you? Because if you don't log in,but go to Google,type a page on fb,then go to that page ON fb without being logged in,it shows some names in black some in normal blue.The blackened names are those who are mostly in my friends list,even though I'm not logged in,it still shows them as that.How does it know? Then there are a few other blackened names,one of them I found,on evidence was a stalker.
    What do you think?

    I would like to go to bottom of home page and adjust settings! I can't see many friend on my page:( I am having a problem getting to the bottom of my home page:( its never ending! Do you have advice? Ty! Paula

    Third significant issue is populace who are nuisance you will make you come into attitude in their common sense feed but not the other way just about

    How would you go about explaining people who are on your sidebar that you don't check up on or interact with much. I will consistently have 1 or 2 of those. Is this just because of the volume of links they are posting?