Facebook Is Using Humans To Improve News Feed Quality
In a sign that the algorithm is not enough, Facebook has put together a team of 600 people to interact with Facebook and then answer detailed questions about their experience and preferences.
Call them algorithm helpers. Facebook has turned to humans to help improve the News Feed.
The social network has built a team of people to give detailed feedback about their daily interactions with the News Feed, in an effort to learn more about people’s preferences, according on an article by Steven Levy today on Medium.
It’s basically an intense daily focus group, started in August with 30 people in Knoxville, Tenn., and now up to 600 throughout the U.S.. Each person spends four hours a day on the desktop scrolling through and interacting with stories in their News Feed, clicking, sharing, commenting, liking, etc. They then are asked to answer eight questions about each story and a write a paragraph explaining their feelings about the story.
Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox explained the reasoning behind the effort:
“It comes from the intuition that you can only get so far by looking at online behaviors. It’s expensive, and it takes time. But what you really want is to sit down with 1.2 billion people, every single one, and ask them to go through and point at ‘I really loved that one.” Why did you really love that one? ‘Well I really liked that one because it’s from a person I went to high school with and I use Facebook to stay in touch with people from high school.’ Why did you hate this one? “I really hated this one because I really hate memes.’”
Read the full article on Medium’s Backchannel blog.