back to article Facebook 'personal' news feed gets algorithm rejig

Facebook has updated its News Feed function and upset some users who have taken to - IRONY ALERT! - Twitter to complain about it. Tomorrow is the big day for Facebook, when it kicks off its annual f8 event in San Francisco. However, ahead of that it announced tweaks to its News Feed feature just hours after Google moved …


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  1. ratfox

    "Glasgow kiss chase"

    Wonderful expression!

  2. Matt Brigden

    Thats just nasty!

    What on earth where they thinking or smoking ? How about they give you two buttons "Classic" and "Awful" and let you choose which one you like .

  3. wag

    "If you haven't returned in a week, you may want to see a summary of top stories first."

    Not if I've been keeping up to date via the Facebook app on my phone, and via Tweetdeck (other social network consolidation tools are available). Nice idea, but it's half-baked.

    1. Guido Esperanto


      nope not event the FB App is immune to this fubar.

      A refresh on my droid shows me feeds considered "top stories"....

      how exactly do you define a "top story"....does you algorithm enter my head?

      ....maybe not yet, but in the next upgrade.

  4. cirby

    Dear Facebook

    ...just give us the option to default to reverse chronological order.


    That works, it gives us what we need, and we don't have to second-guess it.

    1. Andy Farley
      Thumb Up

      Hell yeah.

      Software trying to be too smart and becoming less usable. Sounds dreadfully familiar.

  5. petur


    You mean +You of course

    Author read fail

  6. Bill Cumming


    i was an unwilling recipient of the "new" facebook layout last week.

    At the moment you have the choice between seeing "top News" or "Most Recent" in the new layout you DON'T get the choice.

    I had to wade through 20-30 old posts Facebook had helpfully "pinned" to the top of the list, most were 5-8 hours old and I had already read them, and their is no "remove all option" so you have to manually go through all the pinned items to remove them before you get to your Latest entries.

    Come back 10 mins later...

    You have another 20-30 old posts pinned to the top of your feed... and it begins again...

    their was no option to turn the "feature" off!

    They changed me back to the old version a couple of days ago but don't know how long it will stay like that...

  7. EddieD

    No I don't

    If I was interested in what had happened, I'd have logged in, or had an RSS feed or something.

    I have a scroll bar, I can look back.

    I currently have to have ?sk=lf at the end of my shortcut to FB to get the view I want.

    I better be able to have this still and not have to rake around what facebook laughingly calls "top stories".

    My brief flirtation with "social networks" is looking to be abbreviated further if they keep fiddling.

  8. Far Canal

    Sounds like ...

    This sounds a bit like netflix - if they piss enough people off they won't have a business to worry about. Mind you, it is amusing to watch a business with so many alleged members trying to make money out of it without running afoul of privacy laws.

    Keep up the good work lads.

  9. Tim 11

    "interesting news" on facebook ?

    nice one :-)

  10. Nanki Poo

    RTFM Facebook

    It's quite easy, FB has two options for your News Feed, the first is 'Top Stories' and the second is 'Latest news'.

    If I want Top Stories, I click 'Top Stories'. Guess what I want if I click 'Latest News'...? yeah? listening...? I WANT LATEST NEWS not f^*^%&)ing TOP STORIES!

    That's all, lesson over...


    1. stuartnz

      Where is the option to click on either? I've spent the last several minutes hunting for such an option but haven't found it. Facebook's own help page does not say that you can choose between them either. It offers only this:

      "We've combined the Top News and Most Recent stories together in a single News Feed view.

      If you see top stories first when you load your News Feed, simply scroll down to see the recent stories."

      Any directions on how to get this clickable option you describe would be very helpful.

      1. Ben 42

        Cleary Nanki Poo and all the upvoters have not been forcibly converted to the new format or they would know that those options disappeared. Unless as you say they were just buried somewhere so as to continue Facebook's long tradition of awful UI. Either way it's a stupid change because the Top Stories view was always useless in my experience, and nothing appears to have changed.

    2. h 2

      Failed on your lesson

      I guess you have not seen the new format !!

    3. Lamont Cranston

      Accessed fb through my phone this morning,

      to be greeted by the new layout. The option to view either Top Stories or Latest News has been removed, so that I get Top Stories first, followed by Recent Stories, whether I want Top Stories or not (I don't, and never have).

      Checking it again, now, and I have Recent Stories, followed by Earlier Today, which seems to be an exercise in inserting sub-headings where none are required.

  11. Jill Kennedy

    It's one thing to innovate - it's another thing to suck. Facebook must be stopped.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What changes? If there have been any, I haven't noticed - it's working as well as it ever has!

  13. Bango Skank

    Sorry Zuck, see you when you grow up

    I left FB and won't be back until they outgrow their adolescent stage, or at least pupate and stop being worms.

    Not that they don't have some nice gadgets and gizmos, but they just don't behave like they understand that it is MY data and that they are merely custodians that are being allowed to use some of it in ways that I must approve of.

    Zuckster and his merry men just don't get that, they think that it is their data and that they are doing me a big favour by letting me play with their bells and knobs.

    Until they get their heads straight on this, I don't care how many shiny new fiddlebangs they add.

    1. Raz

      It's your data until you put it on their systems. You have the choice of not putting in there, which is what I suggest you do. Zuck will never change.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, Zuckerberg pretends he's got Asperger's, so people will think it isn't his fault.

    And he got someone to do it for him, in a film. Bill Gates had to do his own pretending on TV.

  15. elawyn

    It could be worse. They could be posting just the first few words of all your friends updates, then when you click on 'more', you get "And first, a word from our sponsor with an exciting new offer!" and you have to sit through some marketing droids feeble attempt at a flash animation for a product you'd never buy.

  16. Zippy the Pinhead

    news feed

    What I dearly love is if you walk away from your PC and you leave the new FB running.. If your internet connection even bogs for a moment you pretty much have to restart your browser! Thanks FB... You're making it much easier to switch to google+.

  17. Derek Bradshaw

    What a Crock of Poo

    Please let me just have my news in chronological order. I do not need some dodgy algorithm deciding what I may consider important


    Google+ is looking more promising now


  18. zen1


    "google struggling to find it's g-spot"... almost spilled a pint after reading this one... bravo!

  19. Putonghua73

    The new Myspace

    I rarely get my panties in a twist with changes, as I can adapt. However, upon logging into Facebook I immediately had a 'WTF? Have Facebook just hired a bunch of Microsoft Engineers!?'. As others have commented, Top Stories is intermingled with News Feeds, with no indication of how Facebook determines what is a Top Story, and apparently no understanding of the importance of chronological order.

    The side bar could have potentially been a good feature (click on an item in the side bar, and the story and all the corresponding posts appear) but there is no way to disable the side bar or the scroll-bar.

    The most bizarre aspect is that both Top Stories and Latest News (not that I can distinguish between the two or any chronology) appear as a main news-feed and in the side-bar with NO option to disable.

    I could handle the adverts and constant 'recommendations' of random acquaintances to be my friends, but not this change. The whole purpose is to be connected with friends and acquaintances and have control over my content. Now Facebook is using my content and that of my friends and telling me how it thinks my content should be used.

    In the words of a Harry Enfield character, "OI! FACEBOOK! NOOOOOOOOO!".

    Google must have spent today grabbing seats and bringing out the popcorn. I'm heading straight to Google+ this weekend, and migrating my images to Flickr.

    Memo to Facebook: you're no longer the only game in town. You've just removed the one reason why people may be hesitant to migrate - keeping in contact with friends - because Google+ is suddenly going to become very, very popluar.

  20. bag o' spanners

    oh me, oh my!

    Storm in a thimble. Possibly a hurricane!!!!

    I want dinosaurs back now. None of that there heretical evolution nonsense, trying to confuse my poor entropic brainmush.

    If I wanted to change something, I'd change my socks. How very dare they alter anything on their site which i use for free 16 hours a day, without my express permission? Who do they think they are? Some vast global corporation with a profit motive? ....I have my suspicions.

    I think all change should be banned, especially for the lazy conservative reactionary segment of the market. It took me nearly two years to learn how to work the photo uploader gizmo, so why should I have to go through that kind of ordeal twice in my life?

  21. Mike Flex

    @Nanki Poo

    > FB has two options for your News Feed, the first is 'Top Stories' and the second is 'Latest news'.

    > If I want Top Stories, I click 'Top Stories'. Guess what I want if I click 'Latest News'.

    That's fine until FB roll you the new interface. Then you won't have the choice. That's what people are complaining about.

  22. Steve Graham

    It's like the postman selecting what he thinks are the important letters to give to me first, and coming back later with the others.

  23. atomic jam

    Tag This!


    Thank you Facebook for making these wonderful changes, my life has just got a whole bunch better :)


  24. Lyle Dietz

    Learning experience...

    Facebook will learn the hard way to not annoy its product. The lesson may be too late.

    Also, switching to the Queen's own English doesn't work anymore. I've been using en_GB for a while now, and this morning noticed that my feed has been infected with this 'feature'.

  25. Graham Marsden

    Once again...

    ... Failbook decides what it thinks is important *for* you!

    For certain values of "important"...

    1. h 2

      Top Stories

      How can they decide what are MY top stories.

      How do they know if my auntie Flo's cake picture is more important than a band I also follow. Or if both are more important than my brother becoming a dad.

  26. stucs201

    Its sucks, but there is a workaround

    Create a new list. Call it 'All Updates'. Add all your friends to this new list. Click on it. Cut and paste URL from address bar to whatever favourites link (or whatever) you use when browsing to facebook. Much better (and you can use 'manage list' to remove all 'games' related entries as a bonus).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What about updates from pages? If you're lucky they can be interesting too!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all those migrating to G+, it's like a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. You can either give Herr Zuck all your personal info, with at least the chance to keep some of it private (if you keep on top of any changes to privacy settings). Or you can go to G+ and become very visible in searches. Neither option seems very palatable right now.

    Choice? Dream on!

  28. andy 103

    My algorithm to keep up with friends...

    Speak to them offline. You know, face to face*.

    That's it.

    Also the algorithm probably wouldn't be needed if Facebook users didn't insist on creating "friends" lists with hundreds of people they met one time 10 years ago. Do I want to look at photos of someones wedding I wasn't invited to because I didn't really know them? Probably not, but that's just me!

    * Yes, I understand that for people separated by large distances it's not practical but there are communication methods other than social networking sites.

  29. King Edward I

    FB Guy 1: Let's reorder everyone's posts so they don't know what was said when!

    FB Guy 2: Wont that be a tad confusing?

    FB Guy 1: It's OK, we'll also remove the timestamps from all posts so people don't notice!

    FB Guy 2: ...

  30. HaplessPoet

    If you use Chrome you can get an addin called super adblock, which blocks the right hand side news feed ticker.

  31. Peter Kay

    You can fix it, but it's annoying

    Click the little pencil icon to the left of news feed, then for each and every contact modify the updates to view to 'all' and optionally deselect useless updates (such as games).

    Took me about 10 minutes to wade through all my contacts, but at least I can see everything now.

  32. jdjenkins

    I don't mind the new layout - I use the Lists mainly, and rarely look at the default news view, or whatever it's called these days. As someone mentioned earlier, it's free software - the only "price" you pay is your prvacy. I wouldn't get too steamed up about it really......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Hope you're never made to care in the future.

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