Facebook now explains better why you’re seeing some posts and ads

Jeannie Matthews
April 2, 2019

The tech giant announced on Sunday via a blog a "Why am I seeing this post?" feature that explains why a post from a friend, group or page is popping up on your news feed.

You'll also find access to controls like See First, Unfollow, News Feed Preferences, and Privacy Shortcuts to help personalize your site. The good news is that Facebook is opening up about how your News Feed is managed, but the bad news is that you can't actually control any of the work that goes into showing you posts, so you can't tailor anything to your needs.

Facebook wants to help you better understand why certain posts show up on your News Feed and why others don't.

This move for more transparency comes soon after Mark Zuckerberg wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post explaining that Facebook may need regulations to help address its "massive responsibilities".

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

According to Facebook's blog post, it's the first time the social network has included information about how ranking works on the platform. In addition to seeing the basic information about you like demographics and interests that bring particular ads to your News Feed, you'll now also see details about the ads themselves like when the advertiser uploaded the information or "if the advertiser worker with another marketing partner to run the ad".

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The company are also adding more information to the 'Why am I seeing this ad?' feature which has appeared on advertisements since 2014.

This shows why a post is there: if it's from a friend, Group, or Page. Examples shared by Facebook include "you've liked [this friend's] posts more than posts from others", "you've commented on posts with photos more than other media types" or "this post in [this group] is popular compared to other posts you've seen".

Furthermore, the "Why am I seeing this ad?" tool which Facebook introduced five years ago has been enhanced and improved as of this weekend.

It will now let people know if details on their Facebook profile matched those on an advertiser's database.

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

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