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Facebook has recently been granted a patent titled “Selection and Presentation of News Stories Identifying External Content to Social Networking System Users” on July 31st, 2018. It aims to analyze the user data to curate a personalized news feed for the users. This will also include providing users with control over the kind of news they want to see.

Facebook wants to add a Filter option in its news feed. This will make it easier for the users to find relevant news items. As per the patent application, “the news stories may be filtered based on filter criteria allowing a viewing user to more easily identify new stories of interest”. For instance, the filter can be added to view stories associated with either some other user or some news source. You can also add a keyword filter to get all the stories related to that specific keyword.

Facebook patents news feed filter

 Facebook news feed filter tool  

There are a lot of groups and pages on Facebook which helps reflect the user’s interests. The kind of content that the user posts also says a lot about his/her preferences. As there is a lot of user data present, Facebook automatically analyzes the user’s profile to optimize the news feed as per the choice of the user.

There is also a ranking criterion involved when it comes to filtering news feed. The patent reads “news stories are scored and ranked based on their scores. News stories may be ranked based on the popularity of the news story among users of the social networking system. Popularity may be based on the number of views, likes, comments, shares or individual posts of the news story in the social networking system.” News stories can also be ranked based on the chronological order.

facebook patents news feed filter tool

  Facebook news feed filter tool patent

Once Facebook is done analyzing the user profile, filtering the feed based on filter criteria, and ranking the stories based on the ranking criteria, a newly customized news feed will be generated and presented to the user.

Facebook has been taking measures to curb fake news from its feed. The news filter tool is expected to help further. It will prevent irrelevant and fake news from occurring on users’ news feed as the users can choose to see news only from trusted resources. In fact, Facebook recently acquired Bloomsbury AI to fight fake news.

Additionally, the latest news sources, accounts, groups, and pages will also be recommended to users based on data analyzed.

With so much data floating around on Facebook feeds, this patent idea seems like a much-needed one. There are no details currently on when or if this feature will hit the Facebook feed.

What do you think about Facebook’s news feed filter tool patent? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.


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