Why Am I Seeing This? Facebook Have an Answer for You

The Facebook News Feed is always personalised to users — and starting today you’ll have even more information and control over your experience.

Facebook are introducing “Why am I seeing this post?” to help you better understand and more easily control what you see from friends, Pages and Groups in your News Feed. This is the first time that Facebook has built information on how ranking works directly into the app.

Facebook are also making improvements to “Why am I seeing this ad?” a tool they launched back in 2014. Facebook received valuable feedback over the years that has helped them expand the information they share with people about the ads they see.

This means you’ll be able to tap on posts and ads in News Feed, get context on why they’re appearing, and take action to further personalise what you see.

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Helping You Understand and Control the Posts You See
The goal of News Feed is to show people the posts that are most relevant to them. “Why am I seeing this post?”, which can be found in the drop down menu in the right hand corner of a post, explains how your past interactions impact the ranking of posts in your News Feed. Specifically, you’ll be able to see:

  • Why you’re seeing a certain post in your News Feed — for example, if the post is from a friend you made, a Group you joined, or a Page you followed.

  • What information generally has the largest influence over the order of posts, including: (a) how often you interact with posts from people, Pages or Groups; (b) how often you interact with a specific type of post, for example, videos, photos or links; and (c) the popularity of the posts shared by the people, Pages and Groups you follow.

  • Shortcuts to controls, such as See FirstUnfollowNews Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts, to help you personalise your News Feed.

During our research on “Why am I seeing this post?”, people told facebook that transparency into News Feed algorithms wasn’t enough without corresponding controls. People wanted to be able to take action, so facebook made it easy to manage what you see in News Feed right from this feature.

People’s feedback also helped facebook determine what specific information would be most valuable to highlight. For example, facebook has included examples of people’s interactions that contribute to each of the three signal categories theyshow in the feature. Over time, facebook will continue to get feedback on “Why am I seeing this post?” and make improvements.

Giving You More Context on Your Ads 
Facebook are also making updates to “Why am I seeing this ad?”. Since they launched this feature more than four years ago, you’ve been able to see how factors like basic demographic details, interests and website visits contribute to the ads in your News Feed. Now they will include additional details about the ads you see when information on an advertiser’s list matches your Facebook profile.

Businesses can reach their customers by uploading information they already have, such as emails or phone numbers. Facebook then try to match the ad to the most relevant audience without revealing any identifiable information back to the business. “Why am I seeing this ad?” will now provide details such as when the advertiser uploaded the information or if the advertiser worked with another marketing partner to run the ad.

An Ongoing Commitment
Both of these updates are part of our ongoing investment in giving people more context and control across Facebook. They will continue to listen to your feedback and evolve these features over time.

For more information, visit the Facebook Help Center and watch this video from the Facebook Inside Feed.


Lucy Hall