The way Facebook curates the news feed of its users – through an algorithm designed to prioritise 300 updates a day out of 1,500-plus that you could see from friends and pages that you follow – has often been controversial.
Now the social network says it’s giving more control back to those users, or as it put it in a blog post: “more ways for you to control and give feedback on your News Feed”.
How so? It’s all about the news feed settings page, which now makes it easier to unfollow individual friends, pages or groups, as well as re-follow those they’ve unfollowed in the past.
From now, they can also provide more feedback when hiding something from their news feed, including choosing to see less stories from that user, page or group. The idea, seemingly, is more manual curation to tune the settings that Facebook uses to decide those 300 stories a day.
Is this a good move, and if you use Facebook, will you use the new features? But will this fly over the heads of most of Facebook’s 1.3 billion users, given that many still don’t even know their feed is being bossed by an algorithm in the first place? The comments section is open for your views.
Also on the technology news radar today:Apple has launched a new web tool, but this time it’s nothing to do with removing Bono from your iPhone. Instead, it’s to deregister old phone numbers from its iMessage system. Very useful if, for example, you’ve switched from iOS to Android at some point. DARPA is putting $11m of funding into a tool called PLINY that it describes as “Autocomplete for programmers”. Which doesn’t mean inserting random, occasionally-comical errors into their code, thankfully. It aims to draw on past code: “We envision a system where the programmer writes a few of lines of code, hits a button and the rest of the code appears...” Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaine has come out strongly against harassment within the games world. “Over the past couple of months, there’s been a small group of people who have been doing really awful things. They have been making some people’s lives miserable, and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It’s not right...” Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is on the rise, and now it’s apparently raising $1.5bn at a valuation of $40bn – a huge round that would fund the company’s continued efforts to expand into the West. Vanity Fair has a good piece on how Amazon ended up such a divisive entity within the book publishing world, including its dispute with publisher Hachette. “In general terms, Hachette has claimed that the dispute is about money, whereas Amazon has claimed that it is about e-book pricing. These may sound like the same thing, but they’re not. At the same time, it is likely that the dispute is about both.”The European Space Agency is continuing to explore the potential to 3D print a Moon base from “lunar material”. Here’s its latest video on how it might work:
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