Facebook Explains User Feedback Evaluation, Not as Boring as it Sounds

Last week, Facebook announced a major overhaul to the news feed, the possible effects of which have been analysed past the point of relevance. Are the changes a reactionary move, made to keep pace with the image sharing boom? Is it an evil ruse, designed to give more space to advertisers in a bold bid to increase their revenue streams? Or do they just want to enrich our lives by acting on user feedback?

Obviously, Facebook are selling the latter with user experience researcher, Jane Justice Leibrock, explaining how customer feedback was collated, interpreted, and implemented in the sweeping news feed changes. 

The universal complaint “My feed is cluttered”, has nothing to do with the visual layout.
Some said they’d “de-clutter” by removing page posts from their
feeds. Others said they’d clear out stories about friends’ activities
on the site, such as listening to songs and playing games. Many people
mentioned wanting to get rid of stories about friends liking or
commenting on others’ posts. “Clutter,” it turned out, referred to
stories people don’t want to see in their feeds.

Users are silly and dumb and actually really like stuff they say they don’t. 
A look at our data showed that the stories people click, like,
and comment on the most are actually the very stories they said they
wanted the ability to filter out: page posts, stories about songs and
games, and stories friends liked or commented on. Since people were
clearly interested in these stories, our task became figuring out how
to display them separately from News Feed, in a way that people would
want to see them.

Creating multiple feeds will allow the user to easily seek out the kind of content they want to consume.  
A “Photos” feed had been a no-brainer from the start, and the
idea of a “Close Friends” feed had been in the mix and got more
traction based on the findings. But the creation of a “Following” feed
was spurred by people’s desire for stories related to their interests.
The “All Friends” feed was also born out of my research, which showed
people were interested in serendipitous discovery of stories from their
full friend lists.

The ex-partner feed is yet to be confirmed.

It’s Facebook’s most concerted effort yet to debunk the notion that they are just a bunch of nerdy egotistical developers who make changes based on what they think is cool rather than what users want.
I couldn’t talk to every one of the billion people who use
Facebook, but I hope the improvements we made based on the large number
I did speak with will give many more people the feeling they’ve been
listened to.

You can check out her post in full, here.