Facebook increases transparency, gives users greater control over News Feed

Hoping to take away the secrecy of the timeline algorithm users will be able to discover why certain posts videos and ads are appearing on their timeline

Hoping to take away the secrecy of the timeline algorithm users will be able to discover why certain posts videos and ads are appearing on their timeline

A new "Why am I seeing this post?" button will indicate what activity influenced Facebook's algorithms. But which posts show up, and more importantly, why they show up, has always been a sort of black box to which not many Facebook users have any answers to.

Facebook says the feature - which will be rolled out to all users by May 2 - will help you have more control over what you see from friends, pages and groups.

A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France, June 20, 2018.

The tool will offer insights such as: "You've commented on posts with photos more than other media types". It could be a pretty straightforward reason, such as it's by one of your friends or from a group or page you've joined.

Hoping to take away the secrecy of the timeline algorithm, users will be able to discover why certain posts, videos and ads are appearing on their timeline.

During their research for the new feature, the social media giant noted a lot of feedback touched on the lack of transparency and control on their new feeds.

It also takes into account the popularity of the posts shared by the people, Pages and Groups you follow.

The button will be found in the drop-down menu that appears at the top right of every post in the News Feed.

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You'll get shortcuts to controls to help you further personalize your News Feed too, including See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences and Privacy Shortcuts.

This new feature builds on from the 2014 tool called 'why am I seeing this ad?'.

The social network has announced it is to start offering users a "why am I seeing this post?" tab, which they can click on to see how Facebook's algorithms decided it was a relevant post.

"Both of these updates are part of our ongoing investment in giving people more context and control across Facebook", the company said in a blog.

"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", said the post.

Facebook said this process takes place without revealing any identifiable information but added the new tool would more clearly show how this process took place.

'Why am I seeing this ad?' improvements.

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