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Facebook to favour content without Like button

Facebook has announced a new measure to determine the posts you favour even if you haven’t clicked the Like button or commented.

The idea with Facebook’s News Feed is to show users content that’s likely to matter to them. Primarily that’s done through the good old Like button, as well as seeing which stories have been commented on.

The thing is, not every piece of interesting content draws out the ‘Likes’ or the comments.

Facebook recently conducted research into usage of the social network and the improvements people wanted to see in the service. The company has learned that “in many cases, just because someone didn’t like, comment or share a story in their News Feed doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful to them.”

For example, when there’s news on a particularly serious news event, users will often read it but find the prospect ‘Liking’ or commenting on it inappropriate or undesirable. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to read more of such content, of course.

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With such instances in mind, Facebook is introducing a new signal to help it determine which content is meaningful to you: how long you spend viewing a story.

If you spend significantly more time on a story in your News Feed than other content, Facebook says that it will “infer that it was something you found interesting and we may start to surface more posts like that higher up in your News Feed in the future.”

This new feature is rolling out now, and will continue to do so over the coming weeks. So, watch what you linger over on Facebook.

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