Facebook is watching how long you spend reading a story to decide what will appear your news feed

Photo: Justin Sullivan/ Getty.

A change to Facebook’s news feed algorithm will take into account how much time you spend looking at a story to decide what appears in your content.

The chance is on top of the information gained through likes, comments, sharing and more, which the social media juggernaut used to determine what to show at the top of your news feed.

In a recent user-experience survey, the tech giant learned that in many cases, just because someone didn’t like, comment or share a story, that didn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful to them.

“There are times when, for example, people want to see information about a serious current event, but don’t necessarily want to like or comment on it. Based on this finding, we are updating news feed’s ranking to factor in a new signal — how much time you spend viewing a story in your news feed,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

It also takes into account that even though people may not “like” or “share” an item, they may spend significantly more time on it than the majority of other stories. This is still considered a good sign that the content was relevant to them.

“Based on the fact that you didn’t scroll straight past this post and it was on the screen for more time than other posts that were in your news feed, we infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your news feed in the future.”

Facebook has started rolling this out and will continue over the coming weeks. The platform does not expect Pages to see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update.

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