Fresh content for Facebook

Where do you head for the most up-to-date news? Facebook has never been too concerned with time sensitivities, leaving breaking news to its fleet-footed rival Twitter. The world´s largest social network, however, is no longer prepared to sit back and watch its competitor do all the running.

Facebook engineers Erich Owens and David Vickrey have announced in a blog post that changes are afoot to make sure what people see in their news feeds is both topical and timely. It´s a move they hope will address a common complaint among users whereby posts do not become apparent until days after they´ve been posted.

Owens and Vickrey say that the latest tweaks to the algorithm follow feedback which found that posts were appearing on users´ news feeds when they were no longer relevant – discussion of a sports game, for example.

Facebook say that they will move to ensure that this talk is no longer faintly heard. It says its latest update to news feed ranking will consider both trending topics and users´ interaction to determine how high up in the feed a post will be.

Will Facebook be a more resourceful place for the update? In some quarters, people feel that the move adds little value in helping them keep in touch with their friends and family. Others say that it´ll mean they don´t have to go elsewhere so readily for conversation on topical events and news.

Do you think users will spend more time on Facebook as a result of the update, or is it becoming too cluttered for people to make quick sense of what´s going on?