Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced Thursday that the company had made an array of changes to its news feed algorithm to provide timely updates to users. The change comes after the social media giant was widely criticized for showing users “the ice bucket challenge” as the trending topic while Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Facebook Inc’s competitor, was constantly updating users on Ferguson protests.
The tug of war for number of users between Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has been going on for a while with both companies trying to best the other in terms of quality of services and ease of use. Having more active users and providing them with reasons to stay logged in is also a carrot to dangle to advertisers.
This latest move by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), a company that boasts of well over a billion users, shows that public and users complaints regarding the “ice bucket” and “Ferguson” activities and the fact that some newsfeeds come late didn’t go into deaf ears.
“We’ve heard feedback that there are some instances where a post from a friend or a Page you are connected to is only interesting at a specific moment, for example when you are both watching the same sports game, or talking about the season premiere of a popular TV show,”
Facebook engineers wrote, citing reasons for the changes.
The reason why Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) beat Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) when it comes to newsfeed is because Twitter usually shows chronological newsfeeds that make the latest news appear for users.
What Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has done now is make it such that the NEW trending topics are brought on top and are further ranked based on users’ comments, likes, and votes. This change now makes it possible for users to see exactly what’s currently on the news plus it gives constant updates.
On the other hand, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) Chief Financial Officer, Anthony Noto, has also hinted that the company too will make some adjustments to its newsfeed algorithm to give more weight to some tweets and to return some in case a user missed. This will be going away from the traditional approach of showing them chronologically thus taking an approach that’s close to what Facebook announced.
In the financial market, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) didn’t register a huge leap after the announcement, only gaining 0.75%, closing at $77. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) on the other hand gained a mere 0.36% to close at $50.88.
This article has been written by Victor Ochieng.