Dan Rose, vice president of Partnerships at Facebook, just took the stage with host Mike Issac here at D:Dive Into Media 2013. In a nutshell, Rose is responsible for relationships with the myriad developers that end up in News Feeds in some way -- regardless of whether the program is built for Facebook, or simply a program that shows interactions on Facebook. Right out of the gate, Issac asked about the ever-changing News Feed, and what users can expect from that in the future.
Rose noted that Facebook is constantly "trying to find that perfect equilibrium between a great user experience, while still being enticing to developers. We listen to users on Feedback who tell us if something is valuable. Hiding a post is negative, while Liking or commenting on a post would be positive -- sometimes our algorithms don't hear the user signal fast enough. In those cases, we work closely with our partners so that they understand why we're making those changes. We want people to continue using Facebook, and the only way we do that is if we keep things interesting and we respond to user input." In other words, it's a constant battle between users who don't want to be spammed by pitches in their feeds, and developers who want to get as much visibility as possible by getting into those very feeds.
He continued: "If a developer says 'What's the one thing I should focus on?', the answer is simple: create great content. We're spending a lot more time focusing on that, particularly on media content. Recently, we increased the size of photos for news sites -- that's a much better experience. That image needs to be large so that it captures the essence of the brand, rather than a thumbnail. With those larger images, people click more often (around 15 percent more). It does a better job of honoring their content."